Helen and Chris never imagined they would become homeless. They were both employed and living in their own flat in Ireland. Helen found out she was pregnant and immediately started having medical complications; she was constantly in and out of hospital. After 15 weeks the couple were told that there was a risk that they would lose the baby and Helen was put on bed rest. With Helen out of work they were reliant on Chris’s job in a warehouse to support them. Suddenly, things went from bad to worse. Chris had a serious accident at work which left him with lasting injuries and he was unable to return to work. With no income they couldn’t pay the rent and were evicted.
Frighteningly, they were homeless and sleeping on the streets. Helen was unable to get the rest she needed and the situation was very unsafe for both her and the baby. They came across Depaul, but all of the rooms in our family hostel were full at that time. The only available hostel was an emergency shelter which at least meant they had somewhere safe to sleep, but they had to be out at 9am every morning. This was evidently not suitable for the couple and Depaul staff worked tirelessly to find them somewhere appropriate to stay. With homelessness figures rising, and demand for limited accommodation options escalating, this was not an easy task. As Chris explains: “We don’t drink, we’re not drug addicts, but we’re still tarred with that brush.” With the help of Depaul staff, Helen and Chris finally managed to get into a B&B where Helen could finally rest and get ready to have the baby. She gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl called Naomi, and the family are in the process of finding permanent accommodation.