Saturday, 26 July 2008

A "street family"

Dani and his girlfriend Eva come regularly to the day centre with Dani's wee daughter, Larisa to have showers,wash their clothes, have a bite to eat and some time out to relax and play cards or watch a film while Larisa plays.

Dani and Eva have both spent many years on the streets but in many ways they are just like any other young couple. They struggle to make ends meet and to bring up a young child, they have the occasionally health problem, they worry about the future and as you can see from the photos they also have fun sometimes. Dani asked me to take a photo of him being macho and holding Eva ... then not to be outdone, Eva grabbed Dani and lifted him up - I was well impressed as she is a tiny wee slip of a girl and doesn't look like she would have the strength.

For a while Dani had a proper job and a salary but it's very hard to hold down a regular job when you have no regular home and several of the young people have tried without success.
Even the few who manage to get off the streets find it extremely difficult to keep a 'proper' job and a regular programme. In the future if we are blessed enough to see any of these young people manage to leave the streets, this will be one of our biggest challenges - helping them to find and then keep a 'normal' job.

Another major challenge for people living on the streets is keeping their children in kindergarten or school. Wee Larisa should start Kindergarten in the Autumn but it will be so hard for her and for Dani and Eva to make the commitment. We promise any who want their children to attend kindergarten or school that they may bring them every day for showers and clothes washing and also that we will provide the materials necessary eg. school bag, pens, pencils, paints etc. but it is still far from easy when you live on the street, particularly for older children ... I mean, when your classmate asks where you live, what do you say?