Many of our friends have had a traumatic past and can take drink or drugs as a way to escape from those memories or the harsh realities of rough sleeping. They may also struggle with challenging mental health conditions.

At times even though they receive support and encouragement they can sadly take two steps forward and then one step back.

We understand this and we are always here to support and empower our friends on their difficult journey towards new hope, new homes and a new life.

Paul had overcome past drug addiction and been clean for a number of years, he was still working with probation but his last offence was a number of years ago. He came to see us earlier this year because his relationship broke down and he had been rough sleeping and sofa surfing on and off since Christmas. Paul really wanted to get off the streets and get back into work so that he could see his children again and get his life in order.

During lockdown we managed to get Paul into accommodation at one of the ABEN (A Bed Every Night) projects in the City  Paul was incredibly grateful to be off the streets and for our help. However a few months later when we next saw him, we discovered he had been asked to leave the accommodation for drinking on site and he was now street homeless again.

At this point it was evident to us that being street homeless had increased his reliance on alcohol. His relationship breakdown had really impacted his mental health and sadly he needed more support. Thankfully we were able to find a place in a project that we often partner with and we referred him to ‘Homes for Hope’, a shared housing project with onsite support. Paul was accepted and able to move in the next day he has settled in really well and has made great progress overcoming his addiction. He is now housed in a project with support that is much better suited to his needs.

We’re also keeping in touch and offering support so that he can get involved in volunteering at Barnabus. We hope this will help him gain confidence which will help when he is ready to apply and look for work again. The road to a new life can be a very difficult and overwhelming one for our friends so we’re thankful for every opportunity to bring encouragement and support.