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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

16-year-old living in a family hub: 'It kind of does kill your Christmas spirit'

RTÉ News interviewed 16-year-old Lauren Hogan, who became homeless in the summer of 2017.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Wayne0216

“THE HUB IS too small to put up any decorations or Christmas trees.” 

A 16-year-old Dublin girl who is facing her second Christmas homeless has said it “kills your Christmas spirit”. 

Laura Hogan’s family became homeless in the summer of 2017, according to RTÉ News, who interviewed the teenager. 

RTÉ says the teen, her younger brother and mother spent last Christmas in a hotel. Earlier this year, they moved into a family hub. 

Family hubs are group homes for homeless families which were first announced by Government early in 2017. 

Hubs have been rolled out in Dublin in an attempt to end the widespread use of commercial hotels and B&Bs for housing homeless families.

“I don’t really want to be thinking about Christmas right now because you’re so stressed out and it’s already like there’s an overwhelming feeling of being in the hub still,” Hogan said. 

“This time it’s my second Christmas and it’s not great. I’m glad I have somewhere to go and a place I can be, and I’m thankful for it,” she said. 

Hogan told RTÉ that the hub she is living in is “too small” to put up a Christmas tree or decorations. 

It kind of does kill your Christmas spirit when you’re going by houses and they have their lights and decorations up and their Christmas trees.

“There’s not really much that you can actually show that you are kind of celebrating Christmas,” she said. 

Reflecting on her favourite Christmas to date, Hogan said it was probably her last Christmas with her grandmother before she died. 

Hogan’s grandmother died in June 2017, a month before the family became homeless. 

“I didn’t have my own place to kind of grieve when she did die. I kind of had to suck it up, obviously, because I didn’t want to upset my ma or my brother,” Hogan said. 

“Every Christmas I always think of her now. It’s different now,” she said. 

My nanny used to be kind of like an escape for me from hard situations like this. 

“It’s quite heartbreaking as it comes closer and closer to Christmas because you’re thinking ‘I remember my nanny used to help me through hard situations like this’.” 

Emergency accommodation figures for October, the latest available figures, show that there are now collectively 9,724 people living in homeless accommodation across Ireland. 

Of those 9,724 people, a total of 5,999 were adults and 3,725 were children. 

Meanwhile, the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has increased to 156, according to the latest Rough Sleeper Count, which was published earlier this month. 

According to the latest count– carried out twice a year by 100 volunteers – the figures are up 110 from the spring count but down 15% on the last winter count of 184. 

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