My name is Darragh Costello. I became homeless a couple of years ago. My life went downhill and I was depressed because I was staying on a friend’s sofa. I felt in the way so I turned to drugs to numb the pain I was in. That year was very hard. I was miserable and felt every other negative emotion you can think of. One day I rang the homeless Freephone and they got me a hostel in the city centre. I stayed there for two weeks with four others in the room. That wasn’t a nice experience. It was difficult to share a room with people in active addiction, smoking heroin and crack. It was hard as my drug of choice was benzos. The two weeks I spent there made me even more depressed.
One day I got a phone call from a woman named Sharon Doyle from NOVAS. She asked me if I wanted to view a room in a house in Whitestown. I immediately asked when could I move in. I moved in straight away, towards the end of the year. I knew it was a nice place to live and it was in Blanchardstown, where I’m from. At the start I was shy but after two weeks I felt at home. Staff treated me like a human being. I had lost my self-worth until I moved into NOVAS’ Whitestown. All the staff were really nice; they would go out of their way to
help me. At Christmas time they even got me presents, which was one of the nicest gestures that happened to me in a very long time.
I started to believe in human decency again. Not all services are nice and staff don’t treat you as well. After a while at Whitestown, I started to become independent again, getting back into cooking, cleaning and cutting the grass.
It helped me to get my self-worth back. I moved out of Whitestown a couple of months ago. I had lived there for eight months. In them eight months the staff helped me get back on my feet. I moved into my own apartment which is really nice. I wouldn’t have got it if it wasn’t for the staff there and they still check in on me to see how I am getting on. If NOVAS didn’t come into my life, I wouldn’t know where I would be today and I will be forever grateful for that.