Read time 03 mins

Three years and counting

You’d be proud to know Annie. Despite going through one of the toughest periods of her life, Annie is keeping the faith, and she’s determined to stay strong for her three young children. This is how Annie is working her family out of homelessness with a little help from SVP… and from you.

When rent prices spiralled, Annie and her partner did everything they could to keep their house. But they just couldn’t afford it anymore…

Eventually, they were forced out of the family home along with their children. And for three long and difficult years now, this family of five has been living in a hotel room. Just imagine it…

Everything you own is crammed into a single room. It’s the same room you have to eat, sleep, wash, and spend nearly every moment. There’s no place to cook… No room for the kids to play…. You wash your clothes in the bathroom sink and dry them on the single small radiator.

You can understand how anyone in that desperate situation would begin to lose hope. But it’s the reality that so many families are facing as Ireland’s housing crisis remains in full swing.

"The hotel has a little cake shop for tourists. But children don’t understand the difference. Parents have to explain every day why they can’t get one like the other kids..." - Noel, SVP Volunteer

Noel is an SVP volunteer who started calling around hotels to help families like Annie’s in desperate need. "They’ve got 38 families, maybe more, living on one corridor of the hotel," Noel explains…

"The rest of the hotel is for tourists. The kids can’t eat breakfast in their pyjamas like at home. Their mothers have to dress them up so they don’t look different to other families there enjoying their holidays," says Noel.

When Noel saw the despair, he knew his Conference needed to do something. "They had nothing back then… no Leap cards, no way of cooking food. And they had no advice coming their way on how to get out of there."

But through your kind support of SVP, you are bringing practical relief and precious hope to families like Annie’s.

"SVP offered us a lifeline when there was none," says Annie with a grateful smile. "And they have given the kids a much-needed break from the hotel... giving them a zoo pass and a trip to the cinema, even setting up football matches at the local club."

Despite their terrible situation, Annie is determined her children will not miss out in their education. And with your help, they are getting schoolbooks, clothes, and bus fares when they need it.

It’s thanks to your generosity that Annie can take a proactive approach towards building a brighter future for her family. "When the kids are at school, I’m studying so I can get a good job," says Annie.

When Noel speaks of Annie, he glows with pride… "Annie has been very strong and is working hard to change the situation for her family," he says. "She only ever calls us when she is really stuck. She’s one of those special mothers. A real hero."

The family’s living situation has improved dramatically this year. Annie, her partner, and the children have moved into a ‘family hub’ — built especially for homeless families trying to find long-term affordable housing.

Based on true stories from people helped by SVP. Images, names and some details have been changed for confidentiality.

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