The plight of the Irish Homeless….

Listening to Pat Kenny this morning on Newstalk on my way to feed our pony in Broadmeadows Stables, they were talking about the disturbance the new Luas line is causing in Dublin city. The Newstalk reporters were interviewing people on the street and they came across this homeless woman. She was pointing out in her broad North side accent that the government should put the 360 million euros into providing homes for the homeless. I smiled when she went on to say she wasn’t long out of prison for armed robbery and now she was living on the streets again. The reporter obviously not in touch with poor people’s reality, (and I’m not holding this against him) asked her ‘Was she proud of her herself?’ To which she replied, “No, I didn’t get a Blue Peter badge for my behavior! Duh! But I did what I did to provide for my children.”
You know, in this woman’s uneducated life full of poverty and addiction, she still tried to provide for her children in the only way she knew. And what happened to her children while she went to prison? Obviously they ended up in care. Who paid for all this prison and children’s care at a very high cost? The government.
So where are the government going wrong? And why is the Homeless situation so bad that women have to live on the street with their children?
Deeply effected by the conditions that the homeless people live in, I wrote a poem about it and it’s in my book ‘My Beautiful Flower’ called Under the Great Gates of The Bank of Ireland.
Unfortunately, most of the people I see homeless are effected with addition problems. I deeply sympathize with people with addictions as I have experienced family members with addiction in my life also. And I know it’s almost impossible to live with an addicted person, that there is very little you can do for a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. They have to want to tackle that issue themselves.
This is a harsh one, but people who are addicted end up on the streets because they can’t conform to living a regular life either with a family member or especially on their own. They may have a better chance of not being homeless if a family member can tolerate everything that comes with addition. They can’t perform as a responsible person in the home, going to bed at a normal time, they have no interest in their appearance, they don’t contribute to the household, they don’t clean their surroundings. And often with addiction comes a soiling problem. Despite love, it would take a very strong person to be able to cope with an addicted person.
An addicted person cannot live in a home by themselves for all of the very same reasons and unfortunately their main goal is to feed their addiction, leaving no money to pay bills or feed their children. They end up homeless. Even the homeless centre’s have restrictions. They won’t provide a bed for a person who is intoxicated or drugged. They also have to be in by 9pm which doesn’t go well with the addicted person’s lifestyle choice. At this point in the addicted person’s life, they unfortunately are the only one’s who can change their dilemma.
The other percentage of young people homeless are those who have been abused by addiction in their family home and they are forced to live on the streets. I can imagine it is a huge struggle for them to stay sober in the harshness of an indignant life on the streets.
This is where the government is to blame. In my book, I go into great detail proving that children who’s emotional and educational needs are not met in their early years leads them to depression or/and addiction. When these children are going to school and it is soon apparent that they have learning difficulties, the resource should immediately be available to these children and instead it’s not. The government do not provide enough resource’s fro the teachers in the schools to help these children. The children often suffer with low self esteem as young as five years of age and then the problem grows as they get older and they have to struggle through the educational system. The government is failing our children in our schools. And they know this. They’ve known it for a long time, even as far back as when I was a child, (I’m 48). There were kids in our classes that were left down the back and got no help. Our government has always been educated to know this, us ordinary people are only catching on.
It is only parents with money who can afford the high prices of private assessments and tutoring who meet the needs of their child with learning difficulties.
Can you blame the other parents for being resentful? They love their child just as much but are not equipped to help them.
The other reason people may end up homeless is the huge cost of mortgages and rent. We all know during the crash many people had to leave their dream home because they couldn’t meet their payments. Did the government give them a hand? No. Maybe they could have given them their 60,000 euros stamp duty they had paid on buying their expensive property. No, the government didn’t do that either. They put these Father’s and Mother’s and their four children out of their home and onto the street. Into hotels that the government paid their rents for. Really? Come on Government! Didn’t you think? Would you leave your beautiful homes? Oh no, you don’t have to, because your humongous salary met your needs, your children’s needs and indeed all your mortgage repayments.
You can’t help people being resentful and angry. Of course we appreciate the construction of modernization for our city and the tourists that come. But can’t you see you’re doing just what Maria Antoinette did in the French Revolution all those years ago?
 “If they have no bread, well let them eat cake!”
Jean xx

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