It's the Traveller men, women and young people who come across that door, who make use of this fantastic chance and put it to use in their lives, making themselves stronger and making their communities stronger. They are the people we really have to thank.Mary McAleese, President of Ireland (2007)
I had only just moved to Dublin when I heard about Exchange House, a service that offers support to Travellers in the Dublin area. I was homeless and a single parent to my thirteen year old son and ten year old daughter. I was fleeing domestic violence and my father and brother had recently passed away. I was feeling very vulnerable and scared. I was getting very negative responses from local authorities when my brother who had kindly let me and my kids stay with him told me about Exchange House and took me to their office.
There a Social Worker was introduced to me and told me how they could help and what my rights were. At that stage I was desperate and worried that I may no longer be able to stay in Dublin. My Social Worker made calls for me and got me into temporary accommodation and arranged for me to see the local GP for homeless families.
I found the help and support of my Social Worker invaluable as over the next year she helped me to move to permanent accommodation and all the changes that come with moving house. She provided me with information on properties and even took me to some viewings.
I am now settled in a nice home with my kids who are settling into their new school just fine. My Social Worker has always been there for me even just as a shoulder to cry on through the hard times and is still there for us. I’d recommend Exchange House to everyone; their service has been invaluable to me.
To find out more information about the services Exchange House's Family Support Service offers click here