A 21-year-old homeless man is being given the chance to attend his very first debs after a kind-hearted volunteer asked him to be her date.
Adam Skinner, who is sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin, will attend the ball in style thanks to an outpouring of support from the public.
One generous elderly woman has organised for a white Rolls Royce to chauffeur the couple to the dance, which is being held this Thursday, while Protocol menswear on Dawson Street will provide Adam with a tuxedo.
Sarah-Jane Curtis, who invited Adam to the debs of her former school Sancta Maria College in Rathfarnham, first met the young man this summer while she was volunteering with community group March for the Homeless.
“I just kind of started helping out. I don’t do anything near the great work the others do but I love being there and getting to know the different homeless people,” she said.
“That’s where I met Adam. He’s a lovely guy, really genuine. He’s homeless but he’s always helping other people instead of himself. He’d be there helping other homeless people, making them tea and being on this side of the table really. He puts other people first all the time. He’s a really caring person.”
The 19-year-old said she sees Adam on Grafton St sometimes and finds it “heartbreaking” to leave him there, especially when it’s raining.
“Nobody should have to go through that. Nobody should just be left on the streets,” she said.
“I’ve never been to a debs before, he’s never been to a debs before. I was thinking about it and said it to Adam and it just sort of happened. I really like Adam as a person.”
Sarah-Jane said she is excited and nervous about the debs but conscious Adam might have other things on his mind at the moment.“I’m trying not to be too in his face about it because I know he’s had a hard time lately. Two friends of his have died over the last few weeks so I don’t want to be annoying him talking about the debs. I’m a little nervous about it, but a good nervous.”
Adam, who recently appeared in a ‘March for the Homeless’ video, said he has never had any substance abuse issues but admits his family “haven’t been in the picture for a long time”.
He also opened up about the reality of life on the streets — he said it is lonely and dangerous and every night he is “called a scumbag” by drunk people.
“I’m not scared but I’m aware of the danger. It’s the streets, there’s danger all the time, but unfortunately I’m used to the situation.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved