Wednesday 28 September 2016

'You feel like a human bag of rubbish' - March for Homeless founder on homelessness crisis

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 22/09/2015 | 16:05

Around 150 people are sleeping rough each night, according to the charity
Around 150 people are sleeping rough each night, according to the charity

A prominent homelessness activist, who has slept rough in the past, has issued a warning that more will die unless the government take immediate action.

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Darren Bradley (28), who founded the non-profit March for The Homeless, and provides Dublin's homelessness with food and blankets said that most people on the street have lost their sense of self.

"You feel like a human bag of rubbish.

"People just keep walking past, most don't stop.

"If someone happens to say 'are you OK?' it makes your day, it really does," he told Joe Duffy's Liveline on RTE Radio One.

He described the homelessness situation in the Capital as 'diabolical'.

Adam Skinner and Sarah Jane Curtis going to the debs
Adam Skinner and Sarah Jane Curtis going to the debs

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"People who live in houses don't see the people lying on the street in the cold at night.

"Last night was the first bad night in recent times.

"It was really cold, wet and windy.

"Getting into a sleeping bag means you may as well be getting into a body bag.

"It is so upsetting to see another human being visibly shaking with the cold," he said.

He shared a heartbreaking story regarding his brother who is currently homelessness and suffering from addiction problems that he does not currently want to address.

Read More: Homelessness crisis highlighted by Dublin Simon Community

Darren said that during the period that he was without accommodation her regularly slept in people's cars and sheds.

"You just have to get out of the cold.

"If you're not used to it it can literally kill you," he said.

Luckily Darren got his life quickly back on track after his friends offered him shelter in their houses and he managed to get a place on a FAS course.

He is now an aspiring actor and lives with his partner and their four-year-old son Alex.

He currently works six nights a week to provide a hot meal, clothing and blankets to Dublin's homeless.

"I'll be out at 7:30 tonight with my huge pot of spaghetti bolognese," he said.

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