Homeless couple say Dublin hubs are no place for families

34-year-old Tarina Knight lives with 30 other families

Homeless couple say Dublin hubs are no place for families

Tarina Knight who lives in a hub in Dublin's city centre with her partner David Kelly | Image: Stephanie Grogan

A homeless couple say the new hubs for the homeless are like living in a shoe box.

Some families are being forced to pay up to €45 a week to stay in them.

They are designed to help people move from emergency accommodation into a permanent home.

34-year-old Tarina Knight lives in a hub in Dublin city centre with her teenage daughter and 30 other families.

"Not ideal for anyone - you're in one room all the time, you constantly feel trapped" she said.

She says it is overcrowded, she eats badly and she cannot sleep.

Shortly before our interview Tarina collapsed - and after been giving the all clear from the emergency services, she explained it is because of the worry of it all.

"Sheer stress, not sleeping, not being able to eat proper cooked meals".

Her partner David had been living with them, but moved out as it was overcrowded.

He now sleeps on the streets.

He said: "It's disgraceful - I feel ashamed of myself even saying this - it's disgraceful.

"A junkie tried to rob my bag and stick a needle to me - so I just got up and ran away and found another place to sleep."

The Department of Housing say the hubs offer more security and supported temporary accommodation - and it will work closely with anyone who cannot pay the fee.

But Tarina and David believe given the condition of the hubs, nobody should have to pay for them.

"They're not a place for any family at all", Tarina said.

"They're just putting a cover over the name: 'Family Hub' it's still the same place, they're just trying to cover it up", David added.

Reporting: Stephanie Grogan