Jonathan Corrie: ‘Most of my life I’ve been homeless’

Dublin City FM interview with 43-year-old emerges

Jonathan Corrie, who was found dead in Dublin on Monday

Jonathan Corrie, who was found dead in Dublin on Monday

 

Jonathan Corrie (43), who died earlier this week in a doorway in Dublin, spoke recently about his reluctance to go into emergency accommodation, how homelessness had become a “way of life” for him but how he would like a bedsit of his own.

Speaking to Dublin City FM reporter Hannah Parkes in recent months Mr Corrie, said every person should be “given a chance” to prove they could move out of homelessness. He said he had “lived rough for many years, many years”.

“I was an adopted child. My adopted dad was very good to me. He got Parkinson’s disease. He had it for 22 years. But in the meantime, when I was young, I would think 18-ish...pretty much I have had one flat for two days in my hometown where I grew up.

“Most of my life I’ve been homeless. It’s become a way of life to be honest with you. I’m not too pushed on getting indoors. Sometimes I miss the television and I miss the comforts, but a lot of the time I just park myself of in a sleeping bag. It has become a way of life. It really has.”

Anyone who was homeless, he said, had other problems.

“There’s something going on. It could be drugs. It could be drink. It could be maybe just a bad upbringing or family kicked you out. It could be mental issues. It could be a lot of stuff.

“But I think every person should be given a chance. Maybe some new scheme where they say, ‘Ok, we’ll put you in here. We’ll give you this chance for you know a couple of months or something, pay your rent.You have a chance here then we’ll move you on.

“There’s a huge amount of empty buildings which could be converted, maybe. I’m sure it’s not as easy as that but I think every person should have a chance. Every single person, on their own, should have a chance.

“I would say give someone a chance and if they prove themselves, and say, ‘Ok I don’t want to be homeless anymore.’

“I’ve got older. I’d really like my own empty bedsit or something. I could prove my point but it just doesn’t happen.”

He said he was booked into a bed that night, though in general he avoided the emergency hostels.

“I’m actually booked into a place tonight, for one night and I’m quite happy because I’ll go in and have a shower and clean myself up. [I FEEL]a lot safer yes. These streets are rough. They’re Dublin streets. I actually stay away from the hostels in general..The place I am booked into tonight I am in with one person. It’s a very controlled place and a very clean hostel and a very well-run place.”

It was difficult to access emergency beds he said. “It’s very hard. There’s a phone service, which I never phone to be honest with you. I just couldn’t be bothered because they book you into the likes of []. There’s a lot f young fellas in there and they’re young, they’re idiots. They’re trying to prove a point. They are trying to hard, walking around doing shapes.

“So in general I stay away from that. I’ve got older so I want a bit of peace and quiet.”