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  • Northside West

Moving videos give voice to the homeless

Friday, 20th October, 2017 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Moving videos give voice to the homeless

A still from one of the videos

Moving videos give voice to the homeless

A still from one of the videos

WOMEN from a homeless service in Finglas are featured in new powerful videos telling how living without a permanent roof over their heads has devastated their lives.

The short videos tell the stories of women from the Abigail Women’s Centre on Kildonan Road, which provides support and accommodation to more than 30 women.

The service is run by Novas, a voluntary organisation, and it says the voices of homeless single women are largely unheard.

Novas recently created a therapeutic project with Abigail residents to allow them express their experiences of homelessness.

Sixteen of the women told their story in words and pictures for the project, and it’s now been further brought to life by actors in three short films.

The actors relay the heartbreaking words of the women in an effort to highlight the deep trauma of having nowhere to call home.

The first film tells the story of a young woman who has lost her son through homelessness.

“I used to sing ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ to him in the hospital,” she says. “It’s very difficult being apart from him.”

Another video explores the deep sense of loss and 

loneliness caused by homelessness. The woman in this story tells how writing in a notebook made her realise what she had lost by choosing alcohol over everything else.

“There were so many mistakes and ‘I’m sorry’s’ and disasters happening that all I could see was chaos,” says the woman who’s now two years sober. “It brought up a lot of stuff for me, like being on my own. Even in a building with 50 or 60 people, you’re still alone.

“There’s more to me that just a label with ‘alcoholic’ written on it.

 “I am a sister, I am a mother, a niece. I have hobbies and I have dreams like everybody else.”

The woman now hopes she can get a liver transplant and mend releationships with her family.

In the third video a woman tells how she used to love board games as a child, but she can’t play them now as it reminds her of losing her parents and siblings.

“I haven’t been right since then, I don’t think I ever will be,” she says. “I lost my sister to drugs. I’ve battled addiction myself. I used to take heroin and cocaine and that’s why I ended up homeless. 

“I’d like to have a house for my kids and my grandchild to visit me in. I’d like to see them more. And play board games with them.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here