Homeless children publish new book sharing their stories

Half of the proceeds will go to Focus Ireland

Homeless children publish new book sharing their stories

Children at the ‘I Hope You Grow’ Book Launch, 09-11-2018. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews

A group of homeless children have launched a book to share their stories with other young people.

“I Hope You Grow” is a unique book about the children’s lives published by Kids’ Own in partnership with Focus Ireland.

Half of the proceeds will directly support homeless children and families through Focus Ireland.

According to the latest Government figures there were 3,829 children homeless across Ireland in September.

However the Government confirmed in September that 1,606 people were removed from the figures following three ‘re-categorisations’ this year.

"I Hope You Grow"

All 15 children who contributed to the book are living in temporary accommodation.

They told Newstalk that they are hoping to finally find a home soon.

“The thing I hate about it is probably the waiting part,” said one child.

“Everything else is pretty easy; it is just hard to wait – waiting to get a house and all kinds of stuff.”

Another of the children said: “In February, I will be homeless for the second year.”

“It is really bad and I hope I am going to get a house soon.” 

The book contains a blend of poetry, stories, artwork and photography generated during a series of workshops in Dublin.

Writer Mary Branley and visual artist Maree Hensey worked with the children and helped them develop the ideas that were eventually included in the book.

Focus Ireland said its figures for Dublin show that three families became homeless every single day in September.

A total of 88 families with 193 children became newly homeless

Homeless

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said the children are waiting too long for housing.

“The children that were involved in the production of this book, one of them I am thinking of is 18 months in emergency accommodation,” he said.

“That is 18 months hoping against hope that that situation is going to change.

“It hasn’t yet for that family and we will do all we can to make it as short as possible but that, unfortunately, is quite a typical experience.”

The project was commissioned by Focus Ireland and delivered by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership with funding support from Bord Gáis Energy.