“I knew it would be back to square one again if we didn’t get that place”
Josh and Caroline are a couple who found themselves trapped in a continual cycle of homelessness before they reached out to Galway Simon Community for support. The couple, who now have their own place to call home and are expecting a baby, reflect on their experiences with homelessness and how Galway Simon were able to support them on their pathway to a homeless free future for their family.
Josh was particularly vulnerable to homelessness, having come from a family with a history of this issue. He first became homeless when his mother passed away and he lost access to her home that she had been renting. Caroline became homeless due to a breakdown in her relationship with her family. The couple, who have been together for 5 years, had been staying with family, friends, in hostels, and rough sleeping, before coming to Galway Simon. Since then, Caroline has been able to mend her relationship with her family, and Josh has integrated into the family after his own mother and sister passed away. “They look at him like a son”, says Caroline of her family’s relationship with Josh. Galway Simon is providing Josh with ongoing counselling support for the challenges he’s experiencing with his mental health.
After their period of unsecure accommodation and homelessness, Caroline and Josh were supported by Galway Simon’s outreach Community Support Team in securing private rented accommodation, “I knew it would be back to square one again if we didn’t get that place”, Caroline says. Josh echoed his partner’s sentiment, saying “Once you’re homeless on the streets it’s hard to get out of it”. Galway Simon assisted the couple with practical supports that enabled them to break the cycle of homelessness they found themselves in and ultimately prevented them from reentering homelessness. The couple are thankful for the shelter and security their new home provides.
Without the help of the Galway Simon, the couple say that they would still be sleeping rough, “we wouldn’t have been able to afford to get the apartment” – “we’d still be homeless”. Thanks to your support, we can end the cycle of homelessness for people like Josh and Caroline.
Please note the couple’s name and image have been changed to protect their identities, however their story is very much true.