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Couple who shelter in the Phoenix Park without a sleeping bag

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Brendan Craig, 34, with his friend Jenny, they both use the services of the Capuchin Day Centre for the homeless in Dublin's north inner city. Picture: Damien Eagers

Brendan Craig, 34, with his friend Jenny, they both use the services of the Capuchin Day Centre for the homeless in Dublin's north inner city. Picture: Damien Eagers

Brendan Craig, 34, with his friend Jenny, they both use the services of the Capuchin Day Centre for the homeless in Dublin's north inner city. Picture: Damien Eagers

This Dublin couple have been in and out of sheltered accommodation for the last three years, but are now sleeping rough on the city's streets.

Brendan (34) and Jenny (26) have been living in the Phoenix Park for the last four nights, without even a sleeping bag to keep themselves warm.

The pair were living in a hostel in the city, but left because their combined social welfare of €340 was not enough to survive on, as they had to pay €150 a week for rent.

"All of my dole money was going on rent, which wasn't great because we were given nothing. No heating, nowhere to wash our clothes, there wasn't even a shower to wash ourselves," Brendan explained.

Jenny, a mother of three children aged eight, seven and three, explained how the couple first met in the Capuchin Centre, and that the charity was vital for people who are barely able to feed themselves.

"We met here 18 months ago, and it's a godsend to have a place like this, where you get fed and can talk to people who are going through the same situation," she said.

Brendan, who is father to a 17-year-old and a seven-year-old, described how he was getting over his heroin addiction but admitted that living on the streets is dangerous, as the temptation is there to fall back into the trap.

depression

"I'm just walking the streets all day, the depression is getting to me and you're kind of thinking 'maybe if I get my fix it'll take my mind off things'," he said.

However, despite this, Brendan is determined to get accommodation, and has been searching for a new home every day. Another at the centre, who only gave his name as Ian, gave an insight into how a person's mindset can deteriorate if they feel they have nothing left.

"I was married, have kids, I've done all that. But now, I just don't give a f**k. I could die tomorrow and I wouldn't care, it honestly wouldn't bother me," he said. "The food centre is great to have, but apart from coming here I've nothing else to do. I just have a few drinks and get a turn on (heroin).

"That's my life, it's as simple as that," he added.

hnews@herald.ie


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