Aoife's Story

Aoife's Story

Although Aoife was very young when it happened, she still vividly remembers that terrible day.

“My mother just left the house one day”, Aoife recalls. “I was four years old. My brothers were three and two years old and the baby was only a few weeks old. We were all sitting on the floor when my father returned from work. The neighbours were with us. They said we were screaming the house down and they had to stay with us all day.”

“My father then went back to live with my grandmother. He couldn’t put all of us up so I was put in a home where there were boys and girls. My brothers went to a home where there were just boys.”

When she was 16, Aoife came to Dublin and lived in a hostel, but she could never settle. And in the years that followed she was in and out of homeless services. Occasionally, she would share a flat with friends but often Aoife found herself living rough on the streets or staying in emergency B&B’s.

Then disaster struck. As a result of years of sleeping rough in our damp Irish weather conditions, Aoife’s legs began to swell. Soon she had to use a wheelchair to get about. Almost immediately, she found the doors of many emergency B&Bs closing in her face. They would no longer accommodate her.

She ended up sleeping rough on the streets in a wheelchair.

At first, Aoife found it very hard. “I hid in places like doorways and archways. I was always afraid that if people found me asleep, I’d probably be kicked to death.” Last year, when Aoife was put in touch with Dublin Simon she was immediately given a bed in an emergency hostel and was transferred to St. James’ hospital for treatment. Since then she has moved to our high support housing accomodation. Now, she is no longer in a wheelchair and uses a walking frame to get around.

It’s been a long lonely journey. Aoife has been homeless for 32 years. Today, thanks to the support of friends of Dublin Simon like you Aoife now lives in a place that she has yearned for all her life. She proudly tells everyone...

“Here I’m home for always.”

A gift of whatever you can afford today, will provide vital outreach, housing, treatment, prevention and education services, helping people like Aoife find their way home.


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