A new documentary which looks at the challenges faced by families experiencing homelessness will be released online tomorrow.
'Through the Cracks' follows three Irish families who have or are currently living in state-funded emergency accommodation.
The film focuses on the emotional and psychological toll on these families and highlights the long-term mental health consequences for parents and children growing up in homelessness.
One mother, Erica, who features in the film describes the anxiety caused by not having a permanent place to call home: ‘’Anxiety is something that all children in emergency accommodation have and suffer from. Every single one of them.
"You constantly live in fight or flight mode. You’re constantly anxious, constantly worrying. What’s going to happen tomorrow? How much longer will it be? Will I be here tomorrow?’’
The short documentary was produced by poet and activist, Ingrid Casey and Irish production company Bold Puppy. It was directed by Irish filmmaking duo, Luke Daly and Nathan Fagan, otherwise known as Luna.
‘I think meeting these families and working with them on the film really opened our eyes to how close many families are to falling into homelessness," said filmmakers Luke Daly and Nathan Fagan.
"What really struck us was that all three women were working and renting before becoming homeless - but that, as rents across the country began to go up, they found themselves unable to afford basic accommodation.’’
Director of the ICHH, Inner City Helping Homelessness, Clare O'Connell, says the film portrays the long-term damage of homelessness on these families.
"We are actively stalling childhoods, preventing the development of friendships, confidence and self-worth and 'othering' children within society," she said.
[quote]"We need to learn from our history of institutionalisation and give these children back their childhoods."[/quote]
Producer Ingrid, a poet, activist and mother of three, who herself has experienced homelessness in the past explained:
"What is happening now with emergency accommodation amounts to continuing institutionalisation of women and children. Knowing that we have implemented such policies historically, with laundries and so forth, it kind of beggars belief that we could allow that to manifest again in the form of hubs etc, that are so unsustainable."