“I never imagined that I could end up homeless.”
Homelessness is a very real threat today. It can happen to anyone at any time.
For Mike, it happened very suddenly and it was a real shock. When the Covid pandemic hit, Mike lost his job and things quickly began to unravel for him.
I never imagined that I could end up homeless – it just wasn’t something that ever occurred to me. I’m strong and fit and I’ve worked hard all my life, so I think of myself as someone who doesn’t have to rely on anybody.
But then over the past couple of years I hit a rough patch. All of a sudden my life took a turn, things began to unravel in a way that was out of my control, and before I knew it I was on the brink of having no home.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, you can be doing everything right and still things can go wrong in life. Thank God that Galway Simon Community was there for me. I’m writing this letter to ask you to please send them a donation this Christmas, because I know first-hand the amazing difference their help makes. And there are a lot of people out there who need it.
I was working in the hospitality industry, and when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, all of a sudden there was no work for me. Around the same time, I lost a beloved member of my family and really struggled with that as well. Suddenly I had no job, no routine, and was facing this sense of isolation. My mental wellbeing suffered, as did my physical health.
Eventually I reached out to Galway Simon Community. Again, this was not something I ever thought I would have to do, but it ended up being really positive because they helped me get back on my feet. They set me up in temporary accommodation which provided me with stability and meant I avoided the stress of having to going into emergency accommodation.
I had a great support worker who made it really easy to talk about what was going on and get some perspective on it. They helped me make sense of it all and move on in my life in a more positive way. I had always been so hard on myself, even though I was doing all I could do. It is easy to lose your faith in the world and lose your direction when things are so bad. To have someone in your corner who can see past this, encouraging you along, is an incredible thing.
When it came time to find my own place, Galway Simon helped me with that too. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to have their guidance – they kept me from falling into the uncertainty and misery of life in emergency accommodation. Instead, I moved into my own place, making me feel I was getting a handle on things again, that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
For a long time I felt like each step was bringing me backwards instead of forwards, but I don’t feel that way any more. I have a place to live, I’m embarking on a career in a new direction, doing something I’m passionate about. Things are looking up.
There are many people in the situation I was in – people just barely hanging on. Maybe even someone you know? I hope you’ll give a donation this Christmas to help Galway Simon be here for them as they were for me.
More and more people in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon are at risk of losing their homes.
Please note Mike’s name and image has been changed to protect his identity, however his story is very much true.