As part of The Irish Times initiative, No Child 2020, I read this article today. As someone who has been volunteering with SVP on Gardiner Street for several years, I feel child homelessness is an issue that has been left to charities to deal with. The only real solution to this is to build the fucking houses.
It isn’t rocket science, it is pretty basic stuff. Either ignore the vulnerable or support them. The current government is choosing to ignore.
I have attached a link to the article below with some personal observations.
EVERYTHING in the article is true, and EVERYTHING in it I have witnessed with the families my branch of SVP support.
Boiling eggs in a hotel kettle is fairly standard.
In our little branch of SVP we once purchased a mini fridge for a family with 7 children, ( 2 of whom had cystic fibrosis) so that they could store their childrens’ medication there. Most hotels don’t allow fridges or microwave facilities in the room though.
Some hotels have shared kitchen facilities, lots don’t. Some B&Bs have lovely warm welcoming staff who really care about the families staying with them. Many are just happy to have a regular income from Dublin City Council to provide rooms for homeless families.
Some B&Bs let people come and go as they please, many ask that their guests leave at 8am and return at 8pm. Imagine traipsing around town with a buggy and 4 small children for 12 hours! Some homeless families know that they can stay in a particular B&B long term, many don’t know where they will be staying from day to day or week to week.
Hiding Santa presents is tricky. Trying to give your children consistency with education is tricky. Feeding your kids healthy meals is tricky. Nobody’s children should have to go through this. For the 10,000 plus going through this, it is a living nightmare.
BUILD THE HOUSES!