herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

'Our 17-month homeless ordeal is finally over', says mum Lyndsey

Lyndsey and Kali-Leigh (3) spent 17 months living in a hotel room
Lyndsey and Kali-Leigh (3) spent 17 months living in a hotel room

A little girl's dream of having her own Frozen-themed bed has come true after she and her mum were granted a home - 17 months after becoming homeless.

Young Dublin mum Lyndsey Robinson (24) and her three-year-old Kali-Leigh have been given a new home after spending more than 17 months living in a small room in a city centre hotel.

Last December, Lyndsey told the Herald the hotel room they were staying in had barely enough room for their own possessions, let alone for Santa to visit with big presents.

Lyndsey had to tell her little girl that Santa was unable to bring her a Frozen bed because they had nowhere to put it.

However, Dublin City Council (DCC) granted Lyndsey a two-bedroom house during the summer. The delighted young mother said she doesn't know herself after moving into the city centre home.

"It's a lovely little house and it's grand and quiet for me and Kali-Leigh. I was homeless for such a long time ... it's just great to have our own space," Lyndsey told the Herald.

"It's great to wake up in the morning, walk down to your own kitchen, cook and make a breakfast.

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"We're getting used to new surroundings and a new community."

Lyndsey, who appeared on The Late Late Show in March to talk about homelessness, said that although it took her daughter a little while to settle in, Kali-Leigh is loving life in her new house instead of a hotel room.

Little Kali-Leigh's room is decorated with a Frozen-themed bed and filled with toys from her favourite films.

The toddler, who just turned three earlier this week, received some special presents for her birthday.

"She got presents like swings that she couldn't have in the hotel," said Lyndsey.

"She's able to go out the back yard, go on her bike and play with friends in the area.

"She wasn't able to go to play school when we were homeless, so she has started a new school and is just loving it."

Although Lyndsey says she is delighted with her new home, the mother-of-one revealed that its "hard to get back into" living a normal life outside a hotel.

"You don't realise it, but staying in the hotel for that long really does have an effect. Staying in the hotel takes you out of society," she said.

"It's hard to learn how to pay your bills again and go for a week's shopping, because you couldn't do that in the hotel. It takes a lot of getting used to."

Lyndsey had been living with her mother Yvonne in a north-inner-city council flat on North Clarence Street.

But her mother died 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.

Payments

She lived in her aunt's house until little Kali-Leigh arrived and then started renting a house in Fingal.

When the lease expired after a year, Lyndsey said the landlord hiked the rent and she was unable to afford the monthly payments.

Living in a cramped hotel room also had a detrimental affect on Lyndsey and her young daughter.

A letter written by her GP and seen by the Herald described the hotel conditions as "unsuitable" for the mother and daughter.

"They are both in hotel accommodation, which is totally unsuitable for Lyndsey and for Kali-Leigh," the doctor wrote. "Undoubtedly her health is damaged by the above."

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