Last week I was allowed exclusive access into Apollo house to watch as one of it’s residents, 24 year old Cheryl, had her dream come true.
Cheryl who recently got engaged to her boyfriend Mark in Apollo house on Christmas day had aspirations to become a model before she ended up sleeping rough with her partner.
Before becoming homeless she had been working and competing in pageants when rent inflation in Dublin drove her onto the streets.
Cheryl and her fiance said that Apollo house has changed their lives in the short space of time they have been there and they will be heartbroken and lost when it closes next week.
“We love it here, last night all the staff and residents had a hot chocolate party. We’re like a family. There’s something new to do everyday.There’s a computer course running at the moment and yoga classes.”
The volunteers at Apollo said they couldn’t believe the change in the couple since they arrived and how they changed from being withdrawn and depressed to happy, hopeful young people.
Mark has become an apprentice plumber since arriving at Apollo and has been advised by Jim Sheridan to become an actor.
The volunteers at Apollo work day and night to give a better life to the residents and during my interview with Cheryl another young man was surprised by a visit by Kodeline band members who sang alongside the talented busker.
The volunteers along with the help of Nicole Spain of Flutterby Fashion Styling helped to create the opportunity of a lifetime for Cheryl by helping her create an amazing fashion portfolio and get her in contact with the right people to help kick start her career.
Cheryl and Mark are also soon to appear in a documentary on the lives of the people of the Apollo and in talks with a production company to create their own along with the friends they’ve made at the Apollo.
The fate of the people of the Apollo is currently undecided as the staff and occupants fight to keep it alive but if unsuccessful this young couple along with many others face a grim future back on the streets.
Since I met with Cheryl Apollo House has been closed.