“Galway Simon believed in me. They saved my life.”
When you believe in people, the difference it makes can be life-changing. Even life-saving.
At Galway Simon, the client is always at the heart of what we do. Every client and situation is different, but one thing always remains the same – we always believe in people and accept them as they are. It can be so easy sometimes to dismiss or overlook someone just because they are homeless, but we know that amazing things can happen when you look past a person’s situation and circumstances. When you see them as a human being. When you believe in them.
My name is Liam and I want to tell you a little more about my story. I really do believe that Galway Simon Community saved my life.
Since leaving care I’ve had a pretty rough time. I drifted around with no real purpose or direction, I felt like I just didn’t have the skills for the basic things in life. I had a girlfriend and we had a child together – my lovely daughter – but by that time I was already spiralling into addiction.
So, things were definitely not going well. I was couch surfing with various friends, but you can only do that for so long. Eventually I was told I had to register as homeless with the City Council. I stayed in Emergency Accommodation for a short while and then I was introduced to Tom, who referred me to Galway Simon. And that was when things began to get better.
Tom and the staff at Galway Simon have been amazing for me, I’ve been so grateful to have them in my life. Tom has been there with me from the beginning, helping me and believing in me, and I don’t know how I would have done it without him.
I’ve always moved around my whole life. If a situation wasn’t working out for me, I’d just move on, cut and run. Working with Tom and the others at Galway Simon has helped me to ground myself, it’s given me a chance to face my problems and deal with them, rather than just hoping it’ll all work out somehow. That wasn’t really getting me anywhere.
I’ve had brilliant support on getting sober. It was a bumpy road but they were always there with me, even when I messed up. They’ve helped me get better at budgeting, at sorting my finances and being independent. And, best of all, they’ve helped me get somewhere that I can call home.
Having the key to my own place has been the centre of everything. I feel so much more settled as a person. I’m spending even more time with my daughter now, being a dad means so much to me. I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend, who has had a huge impact on my life, and I’m getting stuck into education – focusing on studying and hoping to get into a bachelor’s degree.
I’ve got big plans now. I’ve gone from being lost to having a clear future that really excites me. I’m excited about college and a career, I’m excited about being a father. It really is quite a change, and so much of it is just because Galway Simon believed in me.
Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been severe in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. It has been especially difficult for so many vulnerable people facing the prospect of homelessness.
Please, if you can help this Christmas, give a gift and support those facing homelessness. Show them that you believe in them too.
Please note Liam’s name and image has been changed to protect his identity, however his story is very much true.