Empower the Family (formerly The Hope Ireland Project)
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My name is Deborah Somorin and I am 24 years old. I was homeless at 13, pregnant at 14 and a mother at 15. Thanks to the support of amazing people and organisations like Focus Ireland I went to DCU to study Accounting and Finance at 18 through the DCU Access programme. Thanks to a scholarship I then completed my Masters in Accounting in DCU . This helped me earn a place at one of the biggest accounting firms in the world where i've worked for the last 2 years. I have passed all my accounting exams and will qualify on completion of my training contract in October. My son Liam is now 9. I can stand on my own two feet now. I know other people aren't as lucky as I have been so I am now giving back and helping others achieve what I have achieved.
I’ve had this dream for ages but with the housing crisis at the moment and the support i've had since I came out with my story I thought why not do this now.
I’ve decided to open student accommodation for young disadvantaged parents (fathers and mothers - 17-26) in 3rd level education for example care leavers. When I was in DCU there were 4 young single moms there alone and we all had the same struggles, accommodation and childcare. This is a barrier to other young moms engaging in third level education and therefore being able to stand on their own feet.
The accommodation will be similar to normal student accommodation with each family having their own mini apartment. It will also have a creche downstairs for the children in the accommodation to make sure the students have access to affordable childcare.
There is a lack of availability of affordable homes and childcare at the moment for student parents so these are the needs this project will fulfill.
It will also act as a motivator for young parents still in school who might feel college is an impossible option for them due to lack of availability of suitable accommodation or accommodation in a demotivating environment or lack of availability for affordable childcare places. With the knowledge this exists third level education becomes a goal to work towards and not a fantasy.
This project will help break the homeless cycle for generations.
Please show your support for the project by signing the petition which will be included as part of my proposal and business plan. You can found out more about me at: www.deborahsomorin.com.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
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