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Ireland 'Like a famous person at Christmas, there'll be room in the stable' - remarkable attitude of Dublin man (71) set to become homeless next week

15:21  15 december  2017
15:21  15 december  2017 Source:   independent.ie

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Erm, there are so many famous people in my country – England, part of the United Kingdom. Finally, I’ ll try and explain how she has contributed to positive change in the UK. Besides, he is an ambassador of World Vision and participated in the climate week NYC ceremony. 3. Talk about a famous person you would like to meet.

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'Like a famous person at Christmas, there'll be room in the stable' - remarkable attitude of Dublin man (71) set to become homeless next week © Independent.ie 'Like a famous person at Christmas, there'll be room in the stable' - remarkable attitude of Dublin man (71) set to become homeless next week A 71-year-old man has spoken out about how he will be homeless for Christmas.

The man, who was only identified as Frank, said that he still has to work just to keep a roof over his head and that items like milk and bread are now luxuries for him.

Frank has been renting in his two-bed terraced house for seven years but his landlord has evicted him and he has to be out by next week.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One, he said: "This is my home for the next week or so and after that it's gone, as someone else told me someone else's house is my home.

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"It's just the way it fell, that's the circumstances and there's nothing I can do about it.

Homeless man © Catalyst Images Homeless man

"I pay €1250 per month, my pension is €150 per week so I have to go out and work, whatever I can get - a few odd jobs here and there.

"Whatever I get is to pay the rent and anything else covers food, electricity else and whatever else I need.

"I'm running to standstill, some weeks I don't have work and other weeks the weather is against me.

"Thank God though, I've been lucky for the past twelve years or so and there are other people who are worse off than I am.

"At least I can get out of bed in the morning but I fear the day I can't get out of bed to make money and pay."

Although he is set to be homeless for Christmas, he is optimistic that he will have a roof over his head.

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Frank explained: "Do I believe in the system? Yes, because I have to believe in it.

"I don't think it's uncertain, like a famous person at Christmas, there'll be a room in the stable, I'll get a bed, I do believe that will happen.

Homeless man © Catalyst Images Homeless man

"They have said hopefully I'll get a B&B, they said that because of my age a B&B is more suitable than a hostel or a hotel.

"I don't know if I'd be allowed to stay in the B&B during the day, it's all new ground to me.

"I hope for Christmas I'll be somewhere with a roof over my head and then in January I hope I'll have a home."

Frank has been approve for the Housing Assistant Payment scheme but he said he thinks his age and surging rents are holding him back from finding somewhere new to live.

He said: "I've been approved for HAP, I've gone to a few places and the landlords just look at me because of my age and ask themselves what's wrong, they have my number but I don't hear back.

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"I have been looking around, I've tried to see can I get anywhere for €600 but they just laugh at me.

"For a single bed apartment, you're looking at anywhere from €1200, so double my pension and I have to get €600 a month just for a roof over my head, anything like a bottle of milk and a loaf is extra."

Frank has been divorced for 25 years and is no longer in contact with his family, he said that some of his friends know about his housing situation and one has offered him somewhere to stay temporarily but he doesn't want to burden them as they have a young family.

He stressed that he is grateful for the support given to him by Dublin City Council and various charities.

He said: "All the organisations like The Peter McVerry Trust, the Simon Community, Focus Ireland and so on, they are all working together but they must pick out who is the priority, so where am I on the list?

"I'm on the list but I'm not on the top or on the bottom.

"I'm not saying that the TDs do nothing, because they are listening to these organisations and they are doing things."

Alone, a charity which supports older people, said there has been a surge in people aged over 60 who are on the waiting list for social housing.

That figure grew 11.4 per cent each year between 2013 and last year, soaring by 18pc in Dublin in 2015 and 2016.

Sean Moynihan, Chief Executive of Alone, said that more must be done to tackle this issue.

He said: "Frank is extremely brave to speak out for himself and the problem is that there are so many Franks out there.

"Remember when someone like Frank loses his home he loses his community - his doctor, his friends, his church, his locality.

"At the moment he's in a situation where he doesn't know where he is going.

"I think the whole conversation surrounding housing for older people has been focused on downsizing for some reason.

"The reality of it is that for every house we have, you have 50 older people looking for a house.

"Frank is very young and able and still working but we have a lot of people with disabilities who cannot work."

He added: "Frank's story could be any of our stories."

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