Family homelessness is a very real threat today. It can happen to anyone at any time.
This is Megan’s story, told by her key worker Rachel who works in our Homeless Prevention Services.
Megan never thought she and her six–year-old daughter Emily would ever find herself on the verge of becoming homeless. When Megan came to Galway Simon she was deeply distressed after receiving another “Notice to Quit” and was faced with having to leave yet another home. Over the previous three years she’d had to move three times – she was struggling to cope with another move and not being able to find any affordable accommodation. The pressure she was under was impacting her both physically and mentally.
A caring mother, Megan had been trying her best to keep it together for the sake of Emily, but children are perceptive, and Emily picked up on the worry and fear her mam was feeling. All that uncertainty, her parents’ separation, all that moving around and having to change schools. Emily really did not want to start another new school because it had been so hard to make new friends the last time they moved.
All Megan wanted was a place to live, for her and her daughter. A place she could afford, where she could feel secure. She had little or no other family support.
We supported Megan in completing the paperwork and advocated on their behalf. This is one of the supports we offer people turning to us for help: understanding the system and having the experience and dedication to find solutions for our clients. The pressure Megan was under meant she found herself unable to grapple with all the paperwork needed. But with our help, Megan was successful in securing a home to rent close to Emily’s school.
I’ll never forget the first day Megan brought Emily to see their new home. You could see the worry lift and the relief she felt.
The two of them are settling into their new home, which offers them greater security of tenure. Freed at last from fear and uncertainty, they can rebuild their lives after all those years of worry. It’s amazing to see – they’re honestly like new people.
Megan is far from the only person who has narrowly avoided losing their home. Pauric is another person who was supported by Galway Simon, a Galway man who was on the brink of homelessness but managed to avoid it with the help of Galway Simon Community. I hope you’ll read his story here and reflect on the difference it made to him to have someone to keep him from becoming homeless.
Homeless Prevention Team
Galway Simon Community
More and more families in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon are at risk of losing their homes.
Please note Megan and Emily’s image has been changed to protect their identity, however their story is very much true.