Michael found himself homeless while battling an alcohol addiction and experienced homelessness for almost 30 years. He moved in and out of emergency hostels and psychiatric hospitals in Galway a lot. However, he would still often find himself sleeping rough on the streets of Galway.
Michael hit rock-bottom after another stay in the psychiatric hospital. That is when he turned to Galway Simon Community for help. From there, Michael began to turn his life around.
Michael started off in one of Galway Simon’s supported houses and he began his journey back to a full life. The journey wasn’t easy, but with the expert, caring and practical support of Galway Simon’s staff and volunteers, Michael was determined to succeed.
A year and a half later, Galway Simon helped him find and move into his own house, where he now still lives.
Michael has come a long way since those cold nights sleeping rough on the streets of Galway and has finally been able to put homelessness and his issues with alcohol behind him.
“The hardest thing about being homeless is to know that, if you disappeared off the face of the earth, nobody would even notice, let alone care. Your life has absolutely no meaning when you are homeless.”
Having once been homeless himself, Michael is now one of the most remarkable and inspiring champions for homeless people. After overcoming his problems, he has continued in high spirits and he now works tirelessly campaigning on the issues surrounding homelessness.
Michael is now a board member of Galway Simon Community where he brings the voice of the client to the highest decision making body within the organisation. Along with this, he is a devoted volunteer to Galway Simon and won the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the Volunteer Ireland Awards in 2014.