TWO HOMELESS WOMEN held a protest at Ballymun Civic Centre today, where they gave a ‘list of demands’ to a Dublin City Council employee.
Leanne Kiernan told TheJournal.ie that she and a small group of people attended the protest from 1.30 to 5pm. They left after speaking to the council employee.
The women are part of the Ballymun-Finglas Housing Action group.
They handed a list of demands to the council employee, which asked for:
- A list of relevant contact numbers for homeless services in each local office
- Information to be made more accessible in each local office
- More clarity to be provided as to what homeless people’s options are and what are the consequences of each of them
- More clarity in relation to the Housing Assistance Payment
Kiernan said she was renting an apartment for five years, but when the rent went up by €300 she and her young son became homeless. They were given accommodation in a hotel before being moved to a B&B in Dublin city.
“At night when I go home in that same room again, I’m thinking I’m going to be there for an ongoing few months,” said Kiernan.
You can’t describe the feeling. I don’t eat, I feel sick constantly. My son’s sick at the moment. The room is too closed, I have wet clothes hanging up. He’s in the doctor’s in the morning.
She is hopeful that she will be able to avail of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), a form of social housing support.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” she said. “I’m constantly ringing people.”
She said “it gets tough at the weekends” when her son goes to his father. “On Sunday he is screaming crying, he hates the B&B. He says ‘I just want me Xbox back’. I’ve explained to him we are here for a reason. We are only in this place [to get] our own place.”
When the group went into the civic offices, they “all sat down and started demanding rights”, before two of the women went to the council employee’s office and stayed there until he was able to speak to them.
“I shouldn’t be homeless , I shouldn’t be here,” said Kiernan.
Dublin City Council has been contacted for a comment.