Thursday 27 October 2016

Homeless crisis: 'We'll have to spend Christmas in a hotel'

Lyndsey Robinson with her two-year-old daughter Kali-Leigh
Lyndsey Robinson with her two-year-old daughter Kali-Leigh

All this little girl wants is a Frozen bed from Santa, but she and her mum will spend Christmas in a hotel.

Mum Lyndsey Robinson (24) and her two-year-old daughter Kali-Leigh have been living in a small room in a city centre hotel after becoming homeless nine months ago.

With less than four weeks to go until Christmas, the pair will likely spend the festive season in their hotel room.

But heartbroken Lyndsey said that she has to tell her child there is barely enough room for their own possessions, let alone expect Santa to visit with big presents.

"Kali-Leigh keeps telling me that she wants Santa to bring her a Frozen bed. But Santa can't get it for her - we have nowhere to put it," Lyndsey said.

"We share a double bed, but there is hardly room for her toy box. I can't even give it to her for Christmas ... it breaks my heart."


Lyndsey was full of praise for the staff at the hotel in Dublin's city centre, but said that it simply wasn't suitable accommodation.

"The staff are like family to us and they bring Kali-Leigh presents," Lyndsey told the Herald.

"They are nice enough and they are all the family I have in the hotel.

"I'd like to get a house for my child. I don't want her remembering she had to grow up in a little hotel room," she added.

Lyndsey had been living with her mother Yvonne in a north inner city council flat on North Clarence Street. But her mother sadly passed away in 2013 and pregnant Lyndsey suddenly found herself homeless.

Lyndsey claimed that her late mother's home was not automatically allocated to her as she was only officially listed as living there for several months instead of the required two years.

"As a result, we were left homeless," Lyndsey said. "I lived in my aunt's house until I had my baby, but had to leave because there was no room.

"I was renting (in Finglas) for a year and the landlord put the rent up and I couldn't afford it," she added.

Lyndsey claimed that her mother's flat was boarded-up for almost two years, but said she did not raise the issue with DCC at the time because she has a history of miscarriages and did not want to add anymore pressure on herself during her pregnancy.

"There was nobody living there and I was left homeless," she said. "We could have been living there until they found somewhere more suitable.

"Somebody has only moved into it in the last five months."

But the short-term solution of living in a hotel is having a detrimental effect on Lyndsey, as well as her young daughter.

A letter written by her GP and seen by the Herald states the conditions are "unsuitable" for the duo.

"They are both in hotel accommodation, which is totally unsuitable for Lyndsey and for Kali-Leigh," the doctor wrote.

"Undoubtably her health is damaged by the above."

The medical letter also states Lyndsey has "very frail psychological health".

Lyndsey has recently returned to college and is studying in Colaiste Ide College of Further Education to become a social care worker.

She said it was difficult to get her little girl used to sleeping in the hotel.


"I just want a settled home to put my child to bed at a reasonable hour. It's just the one room and she isn't sleeping well," the young mother said.

"I'm in college and if I'm studying late at night she is awake because she can't sleep with the light."

The Herald asked DCC is there was any prospect of Lyndsey and her daughter getting a home before Christmas and also about Lyndsey's claims that DCC left her late mother's flat vacant for nearly two years, but DCC were unable to respond to queries at the time of going to print.

A spokesman for DCC said that while "every effort" is made to meet deadlines "this is not always possible".

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