Irish students arriving to New York find it difficult to find work and accommodation
Some hot and bothered new arrivals shared their frustrations
On Monday, O’Connor revealed in a text message to the Irish Voice that they are in Queens and Brooklyn searching for rentals, but were still having no luck.
“We will seriously have to go back home if something doesn’t show up in the next few days, “ O’Connor’s text message said.
The Kerry man worked the past few summers on a building site in Ireland to put himself through college, but this year “there are no jobs there,” he added.
The friends are also seeking employment but can’t commit to anything until they have an abode.
Pearse Dillon from Co. Galway is a marketing student at Dublin City University (DCU). He is one of the lucky ones who had accommodation sorted before he arrived.
The reason he is in New York? “To find a job and have the craic,” he says.
However, Dillon’s worry is that he won’t find employment.
Initially, Dillon’s plans included a summer of football playing with the Roscommon team in New York and then a spot of traveling, but at this stage he isn’t even sure if he can find a job.
“It’s been tough, but I hope I can get something soon,” he said.
His friend, Micheal Hallissey from Co. Kerry, was the lucky one of the group. He has secured a place to stay and was on a promise of a construction job beginning this week.
“I just hope my friends get sorted now,” said Hallissey.
Colm Dalton, 20, and John Grady, 23, both students at Sligo Institute of Technology, are homeless and without jobs. They spent their first few nights sleeping in a hotel in Yonkers before a friend kindly offered them a couch.
They now spend their time split between the Aisling Center where they leave their luggage, and the couch they have been allowed to sleep on in a two-bedroom/one-bathroom house where 10 others live.
“We seriously can’t believe how hard it is to get somewhere to rent,” said Dalton, a Co. Longford native.
Last year Grady, from Co. Cavan, worked one day a week in a bar. That job was not available this year.
“We weighed up our options and decided New York was the place to come for the summer, so we paid nearly a grand for the J-1 and here we are,” said Grady with disappointment in his voice.
As of Friday the two friends had called up to 50 available accommodations but no one wanted to rent short-term. They hadn’t even begun to search for jobs.
“That is probably going to be another issue (jobs), but we are willing to work at anything at all so hopefully if we can get accommodation sorted we will be able to start on the job hunt,” said Dalton.
Grady and Dalton came with about $1,500 each in their back pockets.
“We are trying to keep our money for a deposit for accommodation, but at the rate things are going we are going to have to go back to Ireland,” said Dalton.
“We can’t ask our parents for any more money, so if something doesn’t become available soon we will be changing out return tickets to sooner rather than later,” he added.
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