Read about the experiences of our clients and how Safe Home Ireland has helped people to resettle in Ireland.
“I am happy to be home, I enjoy going out for walks, visiting my brother and family and catching up on all the news online in the local library. Most importantly I can now relax knowing that I have a secure affordable place to live”.
Carol, Safe Home Ireland returnee
Aged sixty eight, Carol left the North West of Ireland for the US. Carol worked in Ireland for many years, she married and had one daughter, Pauline. Sadly, however, due to her husband’s alcohol addiction, the marriage broke down.
In the late 1980s Carol’s sister invited her and Pauline to join her in the USA, where she had been living for many years. While Carol wanted to remain at home she felt that this was the only way of giving her daughter a better life. She made the move, enrolled Pauline in school and found work.
Over the years, Carol visited her family back home in Ireland as often as she could afford to but always dreamed of coming home for good. When she retired from work Carol found that it was more difficult to make ends meet with her small Irish pension and even though she has worked in the US she had not accumulated enough stamps for a full social security pension.
When Pauline graduated from university and was settled with her own family and a successful career, this prompted Carol to contact her local Irish centre in New York who referred her to Safe Home. We then assisted Carol in completing the relevant paperwork to support her return home.
Fortunately, Carol did not have to wait too long before she was offered a secure tenancy in a social housing project, just fifteen miles from her brother’s home! On her return, a Safe Home Outreach Officer visited Carol in her new home to assist with applying for health care, transferring her pension and applying for relevant benefits and entitlements. One year on Carol is pleased that she made the decision to come back to live in her native area.
“It’s hard to believe how well it all worked out in the end. I am so grateful to Safe Home Ireland and the Emerald Isle Centre for giving me this second chance at life. Being home to see Limerick winning the hurling in the All Ireland was the icing on the cake!”
Martin, Safe Home Ireland returnee
In 1987, at twenty four years of age, Martin left Co. Limerick for New York. He set up his life there, working and paying taxes for many years.
Martin was undocumented in the USA. His status had little impact on his life until five years ago when his health suddenly deteriorated and he could no longer work. He quickly used up his savings, paying for his rent and health care.
With his savings dwindling and his health deteriorating, Martin became increasing worried about what the future held for him in New York. He decided that the time was right to look at returning home permanently.
Martin approached Sr. Christine at the Emerald Isle Centre in New York for advice.
Sr. Christine contacted Safe Home Ireland who advised on paperwork to take home with him, and made arrangements for an outreach officer to call to him in Limerick on his return.
With the help of our outreach service, Martin has now been able to access relevant entitlements, health care and secure permanent housing. He is so grateful to Safe Home Ireland and the Emerald Isle Centre for his new life, back home in his native county.
“When I got the keys to the place, I said to them, you’d better take a photo because my friends in Liverpool will never believe me……. from a bed-sit, to this!”
Liam, Safe Home Ireland returnee
In May 2018, a Safe Home Outreach Officer visited Liam at his home in Liverpool. Liam had lived in a small room in a shared house in the heart of the city since the early 1990’s. The room is located on the second floor and is accessed via a stairway of twenty-four steps. Liam’s accommodation is a small bed-sit with a kitchenette in an alcove in one corner. It also contained a single bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, television, radio and a small table and one chair. There is one toilet on Liam’s floor but the main bathroom is on the first floor. Despite the obvious space restriction, Liam’s room was very neat and homely.
Liam is a single man who has no children and worked all of this life in Liverpool. He was born in the north west of Ireland and left for England in 1960, aged only 15. There were no employment prospects for him in Ireland and he had leave to find work abroad to support family back home.
Liam’s only surviving sibling and extended family all live in Ireland and he had not travelled home for over ten years to see them. He explained that this is because of his heart problems and he suffers from crippling panic attacks, which has severely restricted his life. Liam also had an accident a couple of years ago that severely impacted his mobility. He was helping one of his friends when he dropped a heavy object on his foot. Since then, he finds the stairs extremely difficult to climb since then but said he would be anxious about moving on/trying to find somewhere else to live in Liverpool so set his heart on returning to Ireland via Safe Home.
In December 2018, an offer of secure accommodation back in Ireland was confirmed for Liam and with the help of family, he returned to Ireland in early January. A Safe Home Outreach Officer is currently assisting him to ease his transition back home in his native county.
“I was delighted with the house as soon as I seen it. I am settling in well and making friends with the neighbours. Having the support of family near-by is a godsend”
Tim, Safe Home Ireland returnee
Tim is a single man is in his mid-eighties originally from the North East of Ireland. In 1968 he moved to the UK where he found work as a pipe fitter and various construction jobs, he lived in various parts of England before settling in the North West after his retirement.
Over the years, his siblings in Ireland passed away. However, his nephews and nieces in Ireland were very supportive and visited him regularly. In the UK, Tim lived in a first floor council flat which only had stair access. Early last year he fell down the stairs and had to be hospitalised for a number of weeks.
Since his accident his mobility and confidence deteriorated which meant he was left housebound, relying on help from carers and neighbours with shopping and some day to day tasks.
At this stage his family in Ireland discussed with him the possibility of returning home, he readily agreed that this was his wish. Safe Home Ireland was contacted and arranged a home visit to Tim in the UK to assess his situation as part of the housing application process.
In conjunction with Tim’s family in Ireland, Safe Home Ireland were able to secure an offer of housing for him back in his native area. His nephews travelled to the UK to help him with the move. On his return a Safe Home Outreach Officer visited Tim to begin all of the paperwork involved in transferring his benefits from the UK and applying for relevant entitlements here. Tim’s family linked him in with a local medical practice and assisted him in getting home help. Tim is so happy to be back home and living close by his family has given him a new lease of life.