“I left Ireland when I was 21. I just left; I had enough. I thought the world was mine and I went wild. I started drinking when I was 18 and I just kept going. I thought I could handle it for a long time. I tried all sorts of drugs as well but alcohol stayed my drug of choice. I spent 14 years sleeping rough on the streets of England. Nobody could have saved me at that time. I was living for alcohol. I begged for money every day, just enough money until the next morning so I didn’t have the shivers. I did that for 14 years. One morning, I woke up under a bridge and I started to vomit blood and passed out. I thought I died because I saw the light at the end of the tunnel people talk about. I seen an angel as well, she said: ‘That is enough now!’ Then, I woke up in the ambulance. The doctors said that I had three burst ulcers and internal bleeding in my stomach. I am sober for 12 years now. Being sober feels great, for years it was all new to me! I’m not shaking or rattling every morning, I don’t have to beg or steal…It feels great! I do the soup runs with the Dublin Simon on Wednesday mornings and Friday nights. I tell the people we meet that I’ve been there! I’ve done the same, and there is help out there! I wish that angel came earlier into my life. I’m 49 now. 50 next year, look at all the years I have wasted. I could’ve been anything… I wanted to be a chef, but my only dream now is to help the homeless through the Simon Community. I want to be like that angel, but one you don’t have to die to meet.”
Dublin Simon has a total of 467 volunteers providing essential services across the organization and 2,183 clients were provided with housing assistance, harm reduction, and medical services by our Outreach team in 2018.