rough times | 

Woman living on the streets says ‘it’s hard being pregnant and homeless’

“You don’t know where you’re going to bring the child when it’s born.”

Shauna and Martin

Esther McCarthy and Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A homeless couple who are expecting a baby have opened up about their fears for the future.

Expectant parents Martin (29) and Shauna (22) continue their search for a safe place in the third and final episode of Stories From the Streets.

The series - which concludes on Monday night at 9pm on Virgin Media One - shows the young couple renewing their efforts to find shelter following a setback, as Shauna's pregnancy progresses.

Martin is particularly concerned for his partner, who is sleeping rough while pregnant. “It’s stressful, and poor love over there, she’s going through a lot,” he says in the final episode.

“She’s going through more than I’m going through. She’s the one that’s pregnant.”

Shauna adds: “It’s hard being homeless and pregnant because you don’t know where you’re going to bring the child when it’s born. If I had accommodation it’s much easier - but it’s hard to get.

“We have to ring the freephone every morning, but you’re not guaranteed a bed.”

Shauna and Martin moved along the Sandymount Strand in Dublin to get out of the city centre because it’s too rough.

"All our stuff got robbed in town, so we had to move back here. It’s stressful,” Martin explains.

Shauna adds: “It's hard being homeless and pregnant, because you don’t even know where you’re going to bring the child when it’s born.

"If I had accommodation, it would be much easier”.

The pair, just two of many homeless people taking part in the series, maintain that it is easier for homeless men to get put up in hostels compared to women, while for a couple together it’s near impossible.

“My goal is to be in a secure location, that I would be able to sit back, have a job, have my kids over at the weekend and live a normal life,” Martin says of his hopes for the future.

“If that’s what you call ‘normal’, because I don’t know what is normal these days.”

Their ongoing search for accommodation brings them to a building occupied by the Revolutionary Housing League.

"Out there was bad, but where we are now is good. It’s dry and it’s safe as well,” Shauna says of the site, a former Hickey Fabrication factory.

“When we left our stuff in Sandymount, it all got robbed but up there we can leave them all and they’re safe.

"If you’re not nice to other people, you're not allowed there so there’s no fighting or anything going on.”

Stories From The Street concludes Monday 13th March at 9pm on Virgin Media One and Virgin Media Player.

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