Homeless family who got apartment after weeks in hostel hire ‘incredible’ outreach worker

A family who were left homeless after their landlord sold their rented accommodation have praised a Dublin self-employed social worker for helping them find a flat.

Fran and Audrey and their three young children have been unable to find new accommodation despite the demand for hundreds of homes over the past few months.

The family became officially homeless at the end of April and stayed in a hostel in Dublin for several weeks.

Read more: A family stuck in a hostel after the owner sold the house “I just want a place to call home”

Previously speaking to Dublin Live, Fran spoke about the stereotypes the family faced due to their homelessness.

“People make judgments that mop up welfare or whatever. My wife and I have both worked since we were 15,” he said.

“The only time we lost jobs was during the recession. When we lost jobs, we both went back to college to re-educate.

“My wife went back to college after being laid off and now has a career from there.

“I tried to change careers before the last time I was laid off. When I lost my job due to Covid, I went back to university rather than sitting still.

“I wanted to have something else to help me find a job.”

Fran also explained that the family have searched for homes all over the country and are ready to move anywhere, but because the HAP payment is lower in countries outside of Dublin, it is difficult to find anywhere. .

“We would move anywhere in the country if there was a house for us. All we want is a home,” he said.

When they first became homeless, Fran got in touch with outreach worker Theresa Kelly, who began helping the family get back on their feet.

After liaising with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, she helped them find a temporary one-bedroom apartment they can stay in while they continue to look for somewhere to rent.

Audrey said: “It’s made our lives so much easier. I know we’re still in emergency housing, but we can leave now and apply for houses and get back into the property rental market.

“Actually, I couldn’t believe it.”

Audreyy said she was “worried” about where the family would celebrate their twin sons’ first birthday while they were staying at the hostel.

“I got the phone call the day I was stressing about their birthday,” she said.

“Theresa gave us these beautiful memories to create for the boys.

“And our eldest son, he is able to plan with us and decorate the little garden we have here.

“She gave us that. She made it easy for us.”

Fran praised Theresa for “constantly being in touch”.

“She said she was going to fix it and she did. She pushed and pushed and pushed,” he said.

“The first day we moved into the hostel, Theresa said she was going up to the GPO.

“I went upstairs with the kids and saw her tending to a boy sitting on the floor and other homeless people there.

“Basically, she asked one of the girls to get a bag from her car. She had brought books and little toys for the kids.

“My eldest son was delighted. She brought little trains and the babies had a great time.

“She was shedding light on a bad situation. She comforted my son, the little touch like that is great.”

A spokesperson for the Dublin Region Homeless Executive told Dublin Live: “‘The DRHE does not comment on individual cases.

“A number of supports exist for families accessing emergency accommodation, to minimize the length of their stay.

“Households in NGO-run accommodation receive on-site support, while families in private emergency facilities (PEAs) receive housing advice/social support from Focus Ireland teams and DRHE, as well as access to services provided by the HSE and TUSLA.”

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Linda G. Ibarra