Catherine Dunne with Focus Ireland
Throughout 2018, as the number of men, women and children experiencing homelessness neared 10,000, renowned author Catherine Dunne worked closely with people most severely impacted by this crisis, men, women and children assisted by the amazing staff of Focus Ireland.
Catherine met people experiencing homelessness to hear their stories, with the aim of highlighting the incredible work which Focus Ireland is doing, and people behind the statistics of homelessness.
These are personal stories, from childhood to adulthood, of loss, poverty, resilience and hope; stories that have been written as a result of collaboration between Catherine Dunne and Focus Ireland.
Catherine became a full-time writer in 1995, and published her first novel two years later. Between 2000 and 2014, she published seven further novels. Hidden City – Stories of Homelessness offers a real insight into the crisis, and the men, women and children impacted. We thank sincerely all those who have chosen to share their stories with you. And thank you for reading.
Stories are powerful truth-tellers. Homelessness is the biggest social crisis that we face in this country. And to tell our own individual story is an act of personal archaeology. We dig deep into the layers of life that make us who we are. Telling our story helps us organise our experiences so that they make sense to us – and to others: it’s a way to make order out of chaos.
Through Hidden City – Stories of Homelessness I’ve had the privilege of listening to the kind of personal stories I’ve never heard before. Stories that illuminate not just individual lives, but instead shed light on how we live now. I’ve met people of extraordinary courage and optimism. People who have struggled with huge personal challenges and overcome almost impossible obstacles. All of them have been at one time – or continue to be – homeless. They speak of being invisible, of having lives that don’t seem to matter.
They have told their stories with openness, with honesty and with generosity. I want to thank them for that, and for trusting me, and Focus Ireland, with their personal testimonies.
Please read, share and help shine a light on hidden lives.