Fair City star opens up about being homeless with newborn baby

"It was such a difficult time.”

She is now facing a similar storyline on the show
She is now facing a similar storyline on the show

Fair City star Stephanie Kelly has opened up about living in emergency accommodation after giving birth.

The actress became homeless after her first stint on Fair City, when she had her baby in 2012.

Stephanie, who plays Sash Bishop on the show is now involved in a storyline which sees art imitating life.

In the soap Sash now cares for Nikki Duff’s children after she is placed in emergency accommodation.

“I’m not sure if the production team or writers even know this but I went through that myself. Not long after I left Fair City the first time, everything fell apart,” she revealed.

“I had to register homeless for a whole year with my newborn baby and live in emergency housing. It was a difficult time and it could happen to anyone but there is a bit of a stigma around it.

“People say, ‘Go and get a job’ but it’s not that simple. When you are renting and then find yourself pregnant and out of work, you can’t go back to work because you’re about to have a baby.

“And if you’re not in a stable relationship or supportive relationship, it gets difficult and that’s what happened to me.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 10.46.10
Stephanie plays Sash on the soap

The 29-year-old added that she tried to get help but was left with very little options.

“I moved in with my mam for a while. She was always really supportive but we fight like sisters, so we’d kill each other. I tried to find apartments but no one would accept the rent supplement and I had to register as homeless.

“I was in a B&B. I cried non-stop the whole first night. But, even at that, I saw people who had it worse.”

She explained to RSVP that the situation helped her appreciate what she had.

“It made me appreciate even having that room – at least I had somewhere to go. But to be back on Fair City now and seeing Nikki being homeless, talking about the social – it’s mirroring my life.”

Stephanie hit out at the government for the homeless situation which she described as a ‘poverty trap’.

“There are so many people struggling – they are in emergency housing or struggling to get the benefits they need.

“There is a severe shortage and it’s a conversation we need to have because when you’re in that situation its like you’re in a room with four walls but there is no door to get out.

“I’m so lucky now that I have a council home because I can work.

“If I had an apartment and I was receiving rent supplement you can’t go back to work because if you do, they cut you.

“There’s no way out. It’s a poverty trap. They make it so difficult for people.”

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