Personal experience of homelessness

Laura Horgan, final year student in Journalism from DCU, came to talk to us about her personal experience of homelessness, and her struggle to change the stereotypes around people who are homeless. Her presentation, as well as being super- professional, left all of us feeling we had much more insight into what the real situation for homeless people is all about.

She described two years of sleeping on the floors and couches in friends’ houses before finally ending up in a homeless shelter. Conditions there were less than ideal however; the place was so overcrowded and full of young children, and privacy was just not an option.

‘My mam wasn’t on drugs; we weren’t bad people’ she said. And, in fact, Laura attributes her success now as an idealistic young adult embarking on a career in journalism, to her mother. ‘ My mam is my main cheerleader. Anything I do she is just so impressed by’. Because of her mother’s continual efforts to solve their dire situation, while protecting Laura from the harsher realities, she actually didn’t realise how desperate their circumstances were. They kept active, and had lots of fun and she described how she and her mum went on what she thought of at the time as great ‘adventures’ together.

Eventually they were able to get proper housing in Coolock, where they are currently living in a comfortable apartment that they can finally call their own.

Laura’s parting message to us was the importance of donating to homeless charities. ‘Donating to charities is so important because it helps people like me to get to where I am now’