“I became homeless because I was tired of being beaten.”
One in three adults living in homelessness are women
Homelessness is often associated with men, however approximately one third of people in Ireland who are homeless are women, and in-fact in 2020, 43% of the adults Galway Simon supported were female. There is sadly a strong link between violence or abuse and homelessness among women. And Covid-19 has only made the situation more difficult for women.
This is Triona’s story – her journey from abuse to homelessness and then to the life-changing support she received through Galway Simon’s frontline services.
I became homeless because I was tired of being beaten. My partner made me feel worthless when he beat me. And when I finally left him and became homeless, bouncing from place to place, I felt worthless then, too. Alone, unwanted, ignored, just sitting on a park bench wondering what I’d done wrong.
When you’re homeless, it’s not nice, you know. You can’t look at your people the same way, because I suppose they don’t want to know you.
I don’t feel that way anymore – a lot of that change is thanks to Galway Simon and generous people like you. So, I’m writing to say thank you.
When I first came to a Galway Simon drop-in centre, I was afraid to go in. I felt ashamed. But they greeted me so kindly, with a cup of tea and some hot porridge. One of the staff put her arm around me and said ‘Well, we’re going to look after you now.’ And they did. They didn’t break their promise.
Before long they’d given me a room in a shared house with three other women, who’ve all been through similar things to me. They came to feel like my family. For the first time in my life, I actually looked forward to coming home.
And now, thanks to Galway Simon, I’ve moved into my own place.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the help I’ve had. Galway Simon gave me a chance. They were there to look after me and they’ve helped to turn my life around. Only for them, I know I wouldn’t be here. There’s lots more still out there who need the help I’ve had. Any amount you give makes such a difference. I am living proof of that.
Galway Simon’s dedicated Women & Family Service offers specialised supports to women and their families affected by homelessness. It offers a tailored service to women, including mental health support to assist them in coming to terms with past trauma they may have suffered.
We know that there are other people like Triona who urgently need support, be it to avoid becoming homeless or to find a way back into housing. Their journey home can start with you.
If you are in a position to, please give a gift today to help others.
Please note Triona’s name and image has been changed to protect her identity, however his story is very much true.