Lisa and Peter moved into an apartment in Peter McVerry Trust’s first housing development in Co Westmeath, in February 2019. Located in the town of Kilbeggan, the scheme consists of nine housing units which were refurbished and converted from a number of commercial units.
The couple had been waiting for social housing for three years and were sleeping rough before they moved into their new apartment.
“Now we’re away from the cold and aren’t walking the streets anymore. We stayed in a tent in Kilkenny underneath a bridge for about nine months. We stayed in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. It was hard but this is a new beginning now,” says Peter.
Sleeping rough was extremely difficult, adds Lisa, but the couple is now looking forward to having a fresh start with the stability of their new home.
“Small things get to you, like charging your phone, washing your hands, things like that. You don’t realise how much that they mean to you until you’ve been out there and anyone else who’s been there knows exactly how I’m feeling,” says Lisa.
“It’s easy to forget what you’ve had until you do lose it and would give anything to have it all back again. Hopefully, we’ll get settled and get back on track with our lives now. It’s been a long road.”