Homeless father accuses service of driving wedge between him and his family

Jordan Devine with son Danny Martin and daughter Seirrah Leigh and partner Chantelle Keane.

A DISTRESSED Limerick father of two says he has been left out to drift into danger and that homeless services are driving a wedge between him and his children by putting them in separate accommodation.

Jordan Devine is in college studying to be a chef. But he and his partner and two children, aged three and seven months, had their lives upturned when they were made homeless three months ago after being given notice to quit their privately-rented accommodation.

The family had been couch surfing and asking for help from the various housing services since, before Jordan’s partner was given accommodation in a family hub in the city, which the desperate father has been told is a women and children only facility.

“They are driving a wedge between me and my children,” Jordan told the Limerick Post.

“I’m trying my best to qualify to get a career and provide for my family but, right now, although I spend time with them every day after college, I’m putting my kids on a bus. I only want to be a proper father to them and be there for them.”

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Jordan explained that he was told by homeless services to go to a hostel to get accommodation, but says this would put him in danger of relapse as he is in recovery.

“I gave up the drugs when my children came along. I don’t want them to be around that. But if I’m going to a hostel I need a clean hostel. The one they’ve sent me to, there are people using drugs all the time. What if I made a bad decision and said ‘okay, I’ll have some of that?’ I’m afraid of what could happen”.

Because of this, Jordan says he has been going out to the Emergency Department in University Hospital Limerick to sleep on any empty chair he can find, and begging couch space from friends.

“I even slept on the floor in the Garda station. In the last seven days I’ve had a total of nine hours’ sleep. It’s very hard to keep coming to college, but all I want is my family and a future for my family.”

When asked for comment, a spokesman for Limerick City and County Council said the local authority’s homeless services do not comment on individual cases to protect the privacy of their clients.