Take three minutes out of your day to read this, it could make a difference  2 weeks ago

Take three minutes out of your day to read this, it could make a difference 

Brought to you by Focus Ireland

"My family can adjust to our new normal, but I don’t think I can bear an Ireland that allows homelessness to be a part of its new normal, because that just isn’t good enough."

Lockdown wasn’t easy. When it was first introduced, the constant uncertainty was a new and daunting experience for many of us, we’re not used to our plans being cancelled and no new ones being made.

Our whole lives suddenly existing under one roof. The whole family together all day, every day. No play dates, no playgrounds, no day trips to Gran’s house, no aunts popping in for tea, no extra hands to make light work, and no kicking the kids out into the garden or out to the green to play with their friends. No football or hurling training, no weekend games with the rival club, no gymnastics, or dance practice, or soccer training.

We’re just not used to living like that. We’re sociable people; we’re planners, we’re competitive, we love routine and we feel safe when we’re in familiar surroundings.

The kids were perplexed as they slowly changed the soundtrack to their lives – and don’t doubt it, kids have their own, very full, lives – ‘can I go out with my friends’, ‘how many days till the school tour’, ‘where is my helmet’, ‘what time is my match starting’, ‘do you think we’ll beat them?’

Most of us never thought we’d hear our kids asking their new set of questions. ‘Does anyone want to play jenga?’ ‘Mam, will you come for a walk with me?’ ‘Dad, what will we do all day – it’s raining?’ ‘I need new shoes, when can we go to the shops?’

All of us are waiting to hear how our lives will start to return to normal, a new normal. The government are doing everything in their power to help us get back to our lives. And we are getting there.

We’re trying to keep some of our new habits that we created as a family during lockdown. We took our bikes out on Sunday morning and went to the beach. We hope we’ve gained some positive new habits from our time in lockdown that we hold on to going forward.

And then I thought about it, and I realised I caught a glimpse, a tiny glimpse of what it might be like for over 500 families homeless in Ireland. Because everything about my lockdown applies to their life, always. And everything about our life returning to normal doesn’t apply if you live in a single room in a hotel on the side of a motorway.

My family can adjust to our new normal but I don’t think I can bear an Ireland that allows homelessness to be a part of its new normal, because that just isn’t good enough.

Focus Ireland believe that everyone has a right to a place they can call home and are driven by the fundamental belief that homelessness is wrong. For more information, check out focusireland.ie.

Brought to you by Focus Ireland