Kieran and Joan’s Story

At the end of 2019 NOVAS established it’s first Family Tenancy Sustainment service in Dublin. In collaboration with Fingal County Council, we housed 52 families during the Covid-19 pandemic. These families had been living in emergency accommodation, confined to one bedrooms in hotels & B&B’s. We are thrilled to supported them move to their own homes.
Here Kieran and Joan share their story:
We lived on a halting site for 20 years, we got married and had our children who were raised there. Overtime the halting site became very messy, dirt and rubbish started building up and new buildings started popping up everywhere around us. We tried to keep it tidy as much as we could but the dirt was attracting rats and the toilet facilities were absolutely horrific. We felt really low in ourselves, we were concerned for our children. We had to hand wash our children as we had no running water. The children would have to use buckets at night time when using the toilet. They had nowhere to play so we had to keep our kids indoors most of the time as it was not safe on the site. We feel the children could not be like children, they were losing out. There was no space in the caravan, we were living on top of each other. The caravan was very cold in the winter, electricity would constantly go off and the caravan floor was damp, with it falling through at one stage. Living in this environment was stressful. We were ashamed living in these conditions compared to now.
We were picked to move into our new home. Coming from a halting site and moving into a settle community was great. We felt very welcome as the NOVAS staff introduced us to one of our neighbours. They made us feel very welcome. As a family we have our own space and our relationships are improving. We became very excited as we started to picture decorating our new home before Christmas. The children were very excited and the kids started arguing about picking their rooms. The kids are settling in and they are doing much better in school and making friends in the community. We feel very safe and don’t feel locked in. We feel that we are part of a community and take great pride in our new home. We have a back garden so the kids can play.
We feel so grateful that we had the support moving and continue to receive support from our support worker, Pamela. Now we have a fresh start and a new life.