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Aisling’s Story

Hi, I’m Aisling, and I want to share my story with you. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you could be homeless tomorrow? That’s what happened to me when I was seven months pregnant. I was terrified. My partner Peter and I, along with our 8-year-old daughter, were unable to pay our rent or find an affordable home.

We tried to access rent allowance, but it wasn’t easy, and we were worried that we could end up owing our landlord thousands. I didn’t know where to turn. I couldn’t sleep at night, worried by thoughts of ending up on the streets of Galway, with a young child and new-born baby. I was thrown into a state of fear.

I believed that we could get rent allowance, but I didn’t know how to make our case. With my due date fast approaching, I found myself dealing with so much extra stress. Would we have somewhere to live when our daughter was born? Where would we go with our kids?

That’s when I decided to reach out to the Galway Simon Community for help, and that’s when I first met Karen. She was there to support me and helped me secure rent allowance and find an affordable home to rent. She was a true life-saver for me and my family.

Sadly, my problems didn’t end there but neither did the help we received. When my daughter was born, she had a lot of medical complications and had to be admitted to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. It was such a frightening time and a very difficult one financially. Despite the support we were getting, we were still worried we wouldn’t be able to pay the landlord. Once again, Galway Simon was there for us.

I cannot emphasize enough how much the support we received from Karen and Galway Simon helped us. They removed a lot of my worries about paying rent, allowing me to focus on my baby girl and helping her get better. I could be fully present and right there for my daughter, knowing that Galway Simon was there for me.

My experience has taught me that escaping the threat of homelessness isn’t easy. It doesn’t take much to plunge an already vulnerable person back into crisis. Unexpected medical bills can be devastating for a family already struggling.

Young woman kissing a babyAlthough it’s been many years since I last needed their support, I know that Galway Simon will always be there for me and my family for as long as we need them. They stepped in to help my daughter when she was pregnant and helped her and her partner find an affordable home. They moved in the day before she gave birth to my first grandchild. Galway Simon’s prevention work meant my beautiful granddaughter wasn’t born into homelessness.

With Ireland’s housing crisis, rising cost of living, and lifting of the eviction ban, countless vulnerable people face a triple threat. Galway Simon expects to see a significant increase in the number of people who need their support. And I know that they will be there to help those who are most in need, just as they were there for me and my family.


Please note Aishling’s image has been changed to protect her identity, however her story is very much true.