“It’s a wet August morning and I’m lying in my hospital bed, you came in to the world only hours ago, my beautiful baby girl. I’m lying here looking at you, you are perfect and I feel I have already let you down. I have tried to be the mother that you deserve, caring and protecting you during our pregnancy, keeping you warm and safe. How can I do this now? I can only whisper to you – we have no home, nowhere to go when it’s our time to leave this hospital.
There is so much joy in the room, but it is not mine. The more I hear the other families rejoice the more my heart sinks. This is what you deserve, a life of hope and happiness. I can give you all my love. Will this be enough? Will this keep you safe?
I know we will leave here tomorrow so I must go now and try to find us a ‘roof over our head’. At least we will get this; it might be a B&B or hotel room. I promise you we will be in from the cold. Everyone is trying to help us. I keep saying thank you but I really feel like shouting out – please help me and my baby now, we need a home now. I worry all the time, I can’t think about tomorrow. I am scared of being a mum, scared of getting it wrong, how will I sterilise your bottles and your soother. How will I wash your baby grows and vest, where will you sleep?
I wish I could turn back time. Everything was so planned the spare was a room just for you, I was so naive thinking that room would be your home. Two months before you were due to come into this world I got an eviction notice! The landlord said he was selling. I did everything I could to try and hold onto that home for us but nothing worked. I am so sorry.”
These are the words of a mother to her new baby girl. She contacted Mid West Simon the week after leaving the maternity ward, while staying in a B&B. She spent a further two months in emergency B&B accommodation. During this time, Mid West Simon staff worked with her every day to find a home for them. We have been able to secure a small one bedroom flat. It’s not ideal and it won’t be their permanent home, but for the moment they are safe and warm.
This is the harsh reality of homelessness in the Mid West today. For people who are homeless life still goes on. Babies are born, people are raising their children and people go to work every day. They do all of this while homeless.