Veronica was living in Novas’ Abigail Centre and previously Mount Brown. With the support of our Resettlement Officer, she has managed to secure and maintain her own accommodation and is loving living independently. Here she courageously shares her story:
I first arrived to Novas Mount Brown in 2013. I had to leave my property previous to this and at first stayed with my ex-partner’s family. I stayed with them for a while but there was not enough space for his family and me and I then had to present myself to Parkgate Street where they help people who are homeless. I was then placed in Mount Brown.
At first I was anxious as I had never been in homeless accommodation before but I was sharing with a nice lady which made me feel more at ease because we got on very well. I also had great support at this time, I was involved with St. Micheal’s House and attending the Le Cheile programme for a few years. I was involved with Meals on Wheels through my CE Scheme, which gave me structure to my day and something to do. Novas then moved to the Abigail Centre in December 2014, and from there I went and got my own room. I worked with my keyworkers at this time and decided to enroll in the National Learning Network in Phibsboro. I began a course called fresh start for nine months.
After that finished I wanted to go on to complete a FETAC Level 4 in Catering, I always enjoyed working in kitchens. I started in August 2016, I really enjoy this course as I get to spend three days a week on work experience doing practical work. My first work placement began in Temple Street Children’s Hospital last year, I really enjoyed this except for the early mornings!
When I would finish my day in the National Learning Network I would return to the Abigail Centre and participated in the CDETB classes. I enjoyed the Hub classes, in this we got to enjoy a weekly film club and also worked on our CV’s. We also participated in group work which mainly focused on the Abigail Newsletter. I really enjoyed this and wrote different pieces each month. I wrote in some smoothie menu’s that I learned from the chef’s in the kitchen in Temple Street, and made my own crossword along with other pieces. I also done the gardening with Claire on a Friday. I also participated in the cooking classes in the Abigail Centre, I found this helpful as we made food that I liked and that I knew I would make myself in my own apartment.
Since I’ve moved into my apartment, I have found the cooking to come in handy as I have been cooking stews and making potato croquettes which I learned in the Abigail Centre. I am now finally back living in my own apartment after four years with Novas. At first I was a bit nervous as it has been a while since I lived independently, but I know I have the supports around me when I need it through the resettlement worker and other services that I am linked in with. Since I have moved out, I have achieved one of the main goals I was always hoping for, to get a job. I have recently started working two days a week in the kitchen of a bank near Stephen’s Green. I love living on my own.