We Need To Talk About Being #1PayDayAway

We’ve recently launched a new campaign to raise funds for Inner City Helping Homeless, but beyond that the #1PayDayAway campaign also wants to give a voice to those who aren’t part of the conversation. Those who are merely one pay day away from becoming homeless.  Donate here to support ICHH, and help amplify this message by sharing your own story using #1PayDayAway.

Have you ever struggled financially? Ever looked at your bank account and worried how you’re going to afford to get to the end of month? Felt stressed because your rent was too high? How about feeling worried because you know that if your income stopped, even for one month that you wouldn’t be able to pay your rent? What about not contacting a landlord when something broke for fear they’d remember you and raise the rent? Have you ever had your rent spike? Or perhaps been told you’re lucky the rent isn’t going up by more?  Maybe the landlord has “decided to sell” and needs you gone. If you’ve answered yes to any of these – then this campaign is about you. It’s about all of us.

The housing crisis in Ireland has been going on for quite some time and it’s getting worse. More and more people are being engulfed by a broken system. Thousands more are slipping towards the edge. We need to take action. And we need to do it now.

When the crisis is talked about the media, the same images are conjured up but this simply isn’t true. There is no one “type” of homeless person. Beyond the wealthy, the reality is we’re all at risk. The level of risk is rising, and way faster than solutions are being provided.

For example, did you know that by August of this year only 523 social housing units had been built across the whole country. 523. Total. Currently there are 3,867 homeless children in Ireland.

 

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Share Your Story

I know (some)what it’s like to worry about money. It’s all-consuming. A constant niggling in the back of your mind. A sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach forms if you make a miscalculation and realise that you’ve spent where you shouldn’t. It’s dodging plans. Figuring out meals that can done cheaply, and in bulk. Sometimes skipping them. Walking instead of getting the bus to save on fare. Knowing that the money in your hand is all you have, and it’s less than a cinema ticket. Trawling through supermarkets making mental notes of the weight vs price of items to ensure that no money is wasted. The weird sense of pride you get from buying groceries as cheaply as possible. Even knowing that that sense of pride was only afforded to me because I knew that at X point  I’d be given another grace period with a small injection of money. It’s depressing.

I’ve been living in the same area of Dublin for quite some time  and in that timeframe my rent has almost doubled – my pay has not. Rent has taken an ever increasing percentage of my take-home pay. That’s one thing that has stayed the same. We recently had an eviction scare, and the panic was overwhelming. There is absolutely no way I could afford to be evicted. I wouldn’t be able to raise first month’s rent plus deposit for somewhere else. Not on one pay check. If I was even lucky enough to find somewhere within the notice period.

It was frightening to ring support services and be told “the landlord was within his rights”, and that’s it. I know many people reading this might think that I’m complaining about nothing. That what has happened to me is nothing in comparison to others. That I’m lucky. I am lucky. I’m keenly aware of that. But that’s not good enough. We shouldn’t live in a place where luck keeps a roof over some peoples’ heads, and not others. Where luck is allowing some children to sleep at home in bed, while others sleep in Garda stations. We need to change things. The only way we can do is by allowing people space to share their stories and support one another.

Get Involved

So how can you help? Well it’s easy, if you have the funds please consider donating to our fundraiser to raise money for Inner City Helping Homeless. This is a grassroots organisation who provide food, clothing, sleeping bags, advocacy, and support to those in need. We’re also asking people to share their stories online using #1PayDayAway. This can be in the form of a video or post – on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram – wherever you want to post it. We need the conservation to broaden. We need the government to realise that this is a problem that impacts everyone in our society. That many of us, young, old, professionals, college students, single parents, households with two incomes….are struggling.

By sharing our stories we’re hoping that others will be encouraged to do the same and bring a sense of relief to those who feel they have to shoulder this burden alone. You’re not alone. All across the country thousands of us are in the same position, a mere #1PayDayAway. Let’s change that.

Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/1-pay-day-away-support-ichh

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Aine Mulloy

Co-Founder of GirlCrew. Loves brands, media, books, and music. Can generally be found reading in quiet spaces, or in over-crowded music joints.

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