Trigger warning: contains some reference to alcohol misuse

Unfortunately, addiction affects many of the friends we support. In some cases, our friends find themselves misusing substances after they become street homeless, yet Simon’s* situation is a little different.

We wanted to share Simon’s story here as it is a perfect example of why intervention, support and a second chance is sometimes all we need…


Bad news at a crucial time

Simon first came to Barnabus in June 2021, after he had been asked to leave the shared accommodation he had been living in. Simon suffers from alcoholism, and this accommodation was not able to support him in his addiction. With nowhere to go, Simon found himself street homeless.

This could not have happened at a worse time. Simon had been making plans to tackle his addiction and had in fact secured himself a place at a live-in detox service. However, he was told that he couldn’t attend if he didn’t have any accommodation to go to after he completed the detox. This meant that, not only was Simon suffering from the stress, shame and other negative mental effects of rough sleeping, but he was also facing the fact that he would no longer be able to continue with his plan for a brighter future.


A bus pass

Our first priority was to help Simon get himself booked in for a housing assessment with the council. Disappointingly, he was not offered council accommodation, but after liaising with both them and the drug and alcohol service, we were able to secure him a bed at one of the A Bed Every Night projects.

Before he left for the project, we were able to provide Simon with a food parcel, clothing, toiletries and a bus pass. This way, he could travel to his accommodation and have the basic necessities once he got there.

Simon came back to see us a few days later to thank us for our help. He can now go to the live-in detox service as planned and has even arranged himself some more secure accommodation to return to afterwards. Now he can continue on his recovery journey. 


The start of a new life

Simon was very grateful for our support and is looking forward to the future. He hopes to eventually get back into work and start a new life away from addiction.

Our support would not be possible without your help. While your fundraising or financial gifts ensure our staff are able to be there for our friends and find them the right support, your donation of items – such as the food, clothing and toiletries that Simon received – also gives them a greater degree of dignity and independence. Thank you.

*Name has been changed to protect our friend’s identity