Three families with children sleeping in cars in Dundalk at present
The CEO of the Dundalk Homeless Support Group has provided an update on the current homelessness situation in the town and appealed for anyone with a house to rent to make it available to those in need.
Kels Adams told Talk of the Town that there are currently three families with children sleeping rough in their vehicles in Dundalk at present, with more than a half a dozen people also sleeping rough on our streets.
She also outlined two cases locally where adults and children were struggling to survive.
One of the families in question had been staying in a B&B at the end of last month but were forced to leave after the local authority ceased paying for the service.
Fortunately a cousin of the family stepped up and is allowing them to stay in her living room.
Kels said: “This is not ideal and is very cramped but it is a roof over their heads and one they are extremely grateful for. The children are sleeping on the couch, the parents on the floor.”
She added: “The mom is pregnant. The parents have no addictions. They simply want a home in the town.
“So far they have been unable to receive any help from the Department of Social Protection due to habitual residency/homelessness. It’s important to note that this lady is Irish. She moved to the UK at 10 years of age but her father returned to Ireland a year later. This lady has been trying to get back to her homeland ever since.
“Every door they go to for help is closed in their face. This lady is struggling with depression and as you can imagine it’s not an ideal situation for the children let alone an unborn child.
“September is coming fast and one of these children should be attending school. but how will he be able to do that with such upheaval and uncertainty?
“They are unable to feed, clothe or house themselves after trying to survive since May. The council and Department of Social Protection are trying to get them to go back to the UK where they have nothing instead of providing much needed help to an Irish citizen.”
In a separate case a woman who had been renting a property which was repossessed has just weeks to try and get new accommodation but is having no luck whatsoever and there are fears she could become homeless as a result.
Kels said: “She has two children, a boy who is 8 and a newborn boy who is just out of intensive care.
“If accommodation is not found this family will be utterly homeless. This lady has been on the council waiting list for eight years.
“This lovely lady has been left broken and extremely stressed regarding where her children will be sleeping in the coming weeks.”
Kels said the woman had been in touch with local TDs and the council and had been encouraged to register as homeless. There are fears she may have to live on the streets before anything is done so the Dundalk Homeless Support have appealed for accommodation to be made available.
Kels said: “Do you have a house to rent? Do you know someone who does? Can you help? We already have three families with children sleeping rough in their cars, we can’t see a new born child fresh out of ICU doing the same.
Anyone who can assist in any way, be it through food vouchers to assist the homeless or to provide accommodation can contact the Dundalk Homeless Support Group via their Facebook page here.