Sunday 20 January 2019

‘It’s a blessing to leave it behind’ - homeless teen's relief as family get keys to new home

“I dream of becoming a councillor, a teacher and a councillor, I’d love to help kids in school overcome their challenges,
“I dream of becoming a councillor, a teacher and a councillor, I’d love to help kids in school overcome their challenges," 'Amanda' said.

Rachel Farrell

A family that had been living in a hotel for the last two years have spoken about the relief of receiving keys to a new home before Christmas.

18-year-old ‘Amanda’ previously shared her story on RTÉ Radio One of life in a hotel alongside her mother and two siblings.

The teen spoke about how she couldn’t cope with studying for her exams in the hotel room, which they were living in for two years, and her aspirations for the future.

“I dream of becoming a teacher and a councillor, I’d love to help kids in school overcome their challenges and stuff like that. After my experiences I would hate to see a child alone. I would love to just be there, at least be that one person for that child – to be there for them,” Amanda said in October.

“Time is already flying by, next thing I know I’ll blink and it’s my Leaving Cert and if I have to do that in here there’s no chance of me going to college. There's no chance of me going forward with my education.”

Speaking to RTÉ's 'Morning Ireland' today, Amanda and her mum ‘Teresa’ confirmed that they received keys to a Dublin City Council house last week and are hoping to move into a three-bedroom home in the city before Christmas.

"It’s going to be huge, it really is. Once the running around is over and we're just able to sit down, I think it will begin to sink in, what we've been through, and the people we've left behind in the hotel,” Teresa said.

"We'll be thinking of them, and hoping that they get their home, just like we have. It’s a totally new start, a new life.”

While her daughter Amanda said she was “dying” to move into her new bedroom, she also described the move as “difficult to process”.

“You were homeless, you’ll never forget how you felt. It is scarring, but it is a blessing to leave it behind,” Amanda said.

It is understood that the family of four, who do not wish to be named, became homeless three years ago after a marriage breakdown.

Amanda’s interview on air in October was widely shared online after she gave an emotional account on life as a homeless teenager.

In between tears, Amanda previously described how she wouldn’t tell many people about her family situation for fear of judgement that they were living the “high life” in a hotel.

“It’s not the high life. You're living with the stench of people cooking food in rooms that are rotting away with mould,” she said.

"These are the years that I'm supposed to be focusing on getting a decent education, making friends, going out and living my life, but I can't even do normal things like open a bank account, because I don't have an address. I don't have anything that helps me in life."

VIDEO: Focus Ireland's Head Chef on serving an increasing number of homeless families

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News