December 8, 2019

Has homelessness become an accepted social distinction?

Beth Wills

Bangkok Boys in Ballymun, 2019

I have worked in the delivery of personal social services for 30 years. I have seen disadvantage, poverty and abuse and neglect, in all their forms and I have worked alongside men and women facing desperation, suicidality, observing families splitting up, children being removed. And yet…working for a couple of days in Dublin last month, took me back to the beginning of my career, when I believed that the worst was over. In Dublin, 2019 I felt overwhelmed by the level of poverty I witnessed. My heart ached with sadness and shame and I was desperate to help yet utterly inadequate, incompetent. I wondered what sense the tourists would make of what they saw and wanted to scream, “This is not OK. This is not right”. I didn’t scream, I wrote this instead. The thoughts don’t leave me. I am in process. I will do something to make a difference – this is my starting point.