Every attitude, every gesture has to fight poverty and exclusion. There are many ways to act, regardless of our skills and availability. These messages, these testimonials reflect. Feel free to contribute.

Testimonies are published under the responsibility of the author. They are subject to validation: these will be published only if they comply, in form and substance the spirit of this day as defined in the International Charter for October 17.



Testimony from Ireland

I am 28 years old. I have been homeless for 8-9 years.  Each night I had to find a place where I could sleep.  I had to call a number. A bus was collecting us and taking us to night shelters but sometimes it wasn’t coming before 1 am.  At 9 am we had to be out again without breakfast!

 I started using heroine when I was on the streets.

Having a girlfriend, a baby and good support workers gave me the strength to get away from it.

 Still, my partner and I have been homeless for 9 months. At the moment, we are staying in a B&B welcoming families who are going through a rough time.

In the kitchen that we share with others there is a video camera.  

We are not allowed to stay in the kitchen when we have finished eating.

We are not allowed to stop and talk to each other in the corridors.

 Knowing that we are watched all the time makes us feel like prisoners.

In that B&B, we share a very small room with our one year old daughter and there is dampness in the toilets.

 Our biggest concern is our daughter.  She has a walker but she has no room to use it.  She has no strength in her legs.

When the weather is nice, we take her to the playground where there are swings.

We go walking in the city centre but when it is raining we have to stay inside.

Our dream is that one day our daughter will be able to go to college, something that we never did.

We hope that she will get her own house and will never be homeless.


Testimony from Ireland

My biggest dream is to have two children,

my own house and no worries about bills.

I would like to wake up ‘normal’ and not be on methadone.


I don’t want people to bully me around any more,

telling me: ‘When I am ready, you are ready!’ 

If they were nice to me, I would be nice with them! 



Testimony from Ireland

I would like to bear witness to my sister Ana.Her youngest one was still a baby when her partner diedand she raised five children on her own.

During many years she struggled against poverty and drug addiction and life was tough on her.

I and my partner stayed with her for a while. We were homeless and, in our own ways,we were helping each other the best we could.  

What kept her going was her children.She loves them and they were source of strength for her.Because they stayed with her, she never stopped fighting.

With the support of a local group,she got off heroin and went on methadone. 

It was a first step but an important one.Getting out of drugs is very hard as the dealers are always there harassing you.


Testimony from Ireland

People suffering from mental illness,sometimes end up living on the streetswhere they are on their ownwith no communities, friends, uncles or aunties to back them up.

Others, like me, have their own place but also live on their own.A good number of us have known persistent poverty since birth.

One of the biggest problems we face is cooking and having a proper diet.

None of us benefited from the Celtic Tiger when money was there to improve the services.  

With the budget cuts, our conditions are worsening.There are very few hospitals around.

The Government says that the community is there to help but what can the community do without the means to build proper infrastructures?