Colm and Dean are currently renting a house through the Housing Assitance Payment (HAP) after receiving support from Peter McVerry Trust. There are three men living in the house, all of whom have experiences of homelessness or addiction.
“I have been homeless for many years, maybe 20 years – in and out of prison, living on the streets, stuff like that,” says Colm. “I was an intravenous drug user and was quite broken. I embarked on the journey of recovery. I got help from the Coolmine Therapeutic Community and through their residential programme, I entered one of Peter McVerry Trust’s supported housing units.”
Dean, who has also gone through a detox programme, was approached by Colm about the idea of living together and supporting each other.
“Colm gave me the opportunity to move in here with him, to live my life on my own and I’m managing that now,” says Dean.
Colm adds that Peter McVerry Trust staff have supported the men to live independently in the house.
“I approached the landlord and I asked him to give us a chance in this house, and he did that. Through the transition from supported housing with Peter McVerry Trust to independent living, we’ve had support from the staff the whole way,” he says.
“The staff in Peter McVerry Trust liaised with the HAP team in Dublin City Council and made it as easy as possible for us to come in here.”
After living in supported accommodation, Dean says the group are enjoying living together.
“The reason I feel we’re so successful here is that we learned to live in supported housing. We learned to live together, with each other’s personalities and things like that, and how to money manage and budget, and have respect for each other. I think we’ve transferred that quite well into this house,” he says.
“I’ve been homeless for years. All I’ve ever dreamt about is a home that I could call my own, and I believe we – me, John and Dean – have created that home that we’ve wanted and craved for a long time. That has inspired us to get our lives together and to just have simple things like a place to call home.”