James experienced homelessness for over two years after he could no longer afford his rent.
Today, because of your support, James has recently moved into his new home at one of Dublin Simon Community’s independent housing units. He is visited regularly by his keyworker Rory from our Support to Live Independently service to help him settle into his community.
“I was homeless for over two years. I don’t know how I survived it, but I did. After I lost my home I had nowhere to go. Sleeping rough wasn’t what I wanted but I had no choice. I had to do it and that was it.
“Sleeping rough I had such fear at night time. Am I safe? Am I going to be alright? It can be so dangerous being on your own. Some nights I’d be nodding off and the next minute I would hear a noise nearby and I would be jerked out of my sleep.”
“I spent a lot of time just sitting around by myself, hoping the day would go quickly. It would be so lonely being on your own all day. I used to charge my phone up in the train station or I’d get on the train to use the sockets. There was bathrooms up in the station carpark with running water that I would use to brush my teeth and have a wash.
“It really was a boring life. I wouldn’t go back there now because I wouldn’t survive. I’m getting too old for it now. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I feel sorry for people going through it now.
“I remember one day this woman stopped to talk to me, asking how long I’d been there. She said she would drop down a dinner to me and fair play to her, she did. She used to check on me regularly when she was walking her dog, drop me down food or take my clothes for washing. You so often take these small things for granted, but they become impossible when you don’t have a home so this help meant so much.
“There was a café in the town I used to go to. I’d get a dinner there. I would try to pay and they would say, no put that in your pocket. I’d feel guilty but she would say if I was ever stuck I know where they are and to come in. The people in the town really cared about me. When I got my place I went back there to say thank you.
“Because of the Simon Community I now have my own little place and I am over the moon with it. I moved in just over two months ago and my keyworker Rory from Simon was an amazing support helping me to settle in. He comes and visits me once a week to see how I’m doing and I can call him if I need anything.
“I’m so happy where I am now. I can come and go when I want. I can get up in the morning and jump into the shower, have something to eat, a bit of toast or cereal then go out up to the town for the day.
“Before I was afraid to speak out, to put myself forward for anything or try something new. Now I’m not afraid, that fear is gone. I’ve gotten my confidence back.”
“The way I look at it, now I am happy in myself in what I have. I’ve landed on my feet here and this home is mine now, forever.”