“I ran away from my father. I had to run away. I was young, there was a lot I didn’t know. When I was twelve and a half I was taken out of my father’s custody. I was made a ward of court and given a chance with foster parents. I suffered with depression because ultimately I couldn’t deal with my own father taking me away from my mother when I was only two.”
“Just before Christmas my brother came around. He wanted me out. He said: ‘You shouldn’t be here. You’ll only cause her pain.’ He convinced my aunt that she’d get caught up in my problems too. And he persuaded her to throw me out. That’s how I found myself wandering around on Christmas Eve with nowhere to go.”
“I suffered domestic violence for 13 years. All I had to turn to was Simon. They made me realise that I was worth more than that. I don’t think I would be alive today if I had not knocked on the door of Simon. The violence and fear on the streets is horrendous. I lost many of my friends to the streets, through suicide, illness and violence.”
In this video ‘Liam’ talks about his addiction, his experience of homelessness, and how he’s working towards leaving hoemlessness behind him.
“I slept rough for good periods of time, actually. You’re dealing with rain and cold; there’s never heat there. No matter what the weather is, you’re still sleeping rough. Nine times out of ten you’re talking about bad weather, which doesn’t help at all at all.”
“My plans for the future would be to be out of here in the next few weeks. I never really expected to be here this long, to be based in Simon this long, but trying to get out of here is very hard. It’s very hard to get rent allowance accepted.”
In this video ‘Richard’ talks about his experiences of homelessness from a young age, his experiences of sleeping rough, and the housing and supprots that are helping him to leave homelessness behind him.
“I’m 39 now but I’m on the streets since I was eleven. Out on the street is no place for nobody. It’s very very bad. It’s tough. I wouldn’t wish it on nobody. You’re going around freezing; drowned wet. The next day you’re freezing, you’ve had no sleep. You’re head is playing games with you. You’re either getting drunk or taking drugs just to kill offf that pain, and I don’t even want to be doing these kind of things. And you have to go through the same things day in, day out.”
“Alcohol only really became a problem over the last year. My fiancé died last year. He was great guy and I thought everything was working out. He was not a drinker. We were together for four years. We were going for a house together. Me and my fiancé, the father of my child going for a house together. Things were good. Then he over-dosed on heroin. He was just messing around on it. I never knew he ever took it. It was like being hit by a train.”
“I’ve been three weeks in Cork Simon Community. I’ve stopped drinking. They’ve helped me go to AA meetings. Simon have been a huge help and they’ve done the best they could. The biggest help has been my key worker. She is wonderful and has helped me with everything; filling in forms, preparing housing applications, typing letters…everything. Another huge help has been the activities everyday. Getting you to do things is good.”
“I’ve been a psychiatric patient for 15 years. I had a nervous breakdown in my twenties. I was kept in a psychiatric hospital for two years without getting out. I got ten electro-shock treatments to my brain to bring me back. All over a man. My husband did that to me. He put me through hell and back. I’d a hard old life. I’ve been through the wars and back. I’m after doing so many things to my body I dunno how I’m here – but I’m here.”