A 72-YEAR-OLD woman, who is now officially homeless, has spoken of the trauma of having to leave her rented accommodation, put her possessions into storage, and her pets into care.
On January 2nd, two days after she had to leave her rural cottage in the Mealagh Valley, Janet Thornton paid a removal company €460 to take her life’s possession and pack them away, whilst her two cats, Tiger and Sooty, were placed in a cattery and her dog, Alfie, was placed in a kennel.
Janet, who has cancer, had been offered standard hostel accommodation in Glengarriff by a community welfare officer on Friday, December 29th, but she accepted a second offer that was made by a community organisation in Bantry on December 30th to move into a small town centre apartment so she could be near her GP.
Janet, who is an Irish citizen but was born and raised in the US, said the search for a place where she can live with her pets will go on.
In speaking to the local newspaper, she said she wanted to highlight the devastating effects of homelessness. She said: ‘It is like being cut adrift.’ She said: ‘People in this situation should have someone to talk to on an ongoing basis, someone who understands the severity of the situation.’
Since her story was featured in The Southern Star, Janet admits she has experienced incredible acts of kindness. However, most people can’t do anything practical to help her situation.
As soon as her possessions and pets were safe, Janet set about relocating to the apartment and drove her scooter in storm force winds from the Mealagh Valley to Bantry on the evening of January 2nd last.
The morning after she spoke of her overwhelming sense of exhaustion, her feeling of complete disconnection, and disorientation, and her sense of being ‘lost.’
Anyone who might be able to help can contact Janet directly on 086 0300259.