'It’s a struggle every day getting up', says homeless teen

'It’s a struggle every day getting up', says homeless teen

A teenager has opened up about the struggles she faces on a daily basis living in homelessness with her family.

The fifth year student has been living in a hotel room with her mother, her brother and her older sister who returns from college at the weekends.

The girl spoke to RTÉ's Morning Ireland about the reality of homelessness and went by the name 'Amanda' as she did not wish to be identified.

Amanda was emotional as she discussed the impact homelessness has had on her mental health, education and social life.

"It’s really diminishing and degrading having to wake up and look at the dirt, the mould. It’s a struggle every day getting up and even just taking the blankets off yourself every morning. It’s horrible.

People need to know that it is deadly to live like this. You feel like you have no life left, living in here with no security, you just think 'what's the point?' you really do.

Her mother is helping her to cope and she is also receiving counselling but Amanda fears that she will not manage to study for her Leaving Cert while living in a hotel room.

She is repeating fifth year as an indirect result of her homelessness and is hoping to study psychology at college.

"If I have to do my Leaving Cert here I know there will be no chance of me going to college."

Amanda said: "These are the years that I'm supposed to be focusing on getting a decent education, making friends, going out and living my life, but I can't even do normal things like open a bank account, because I don't have an address. I don't have anything that helps me in life".

In her current school, the young woman has only told one person and one teacher about her current situation.

She feels she cannot tell friends about her life because it is too embarrassing.

Amanda was reduced to tears one day when "a couple of lads started shouting 'oh yeah you're living the high life if you're homeless. You're living in a high-class hotel, you can just sit around doing nothing, waiting for a house that's paid for you'".

Her family lost their home after Amanda's mother was unable to keep up with mortgage payments following a marriage breakdown.

They are living in a hotel room on a corridor that is filled with other homeless families.

Amanda criticised the government in relation to the homelessness crisis pointing to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.

"It’s their job to care, and if they don't they shouldn't have the job. Give the job to someone else that actually cares."

Digital Desk

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