Our new Recovery Group is another important part of the journey off the streets. For those who are dealing with addiction, it’s a chance to talk about their experiences with peers in a safe, welcoming space. No therapists, no judgement, just a safe place to share and start their recovery together.

Each week, we address a different topic, like ‘life goals’, where individuals can think about what their future looks like beyond addiction. At the end of each meeting, everyone has a task to complete in the coming week. Like signing up to volunteer with Back on Track (an organisation to get people back in to work) or something more personal – reading more books is a common one.

It’s about building steps, knowing that recovery from addiction is never overnight.

Once every 2 months, we hold trips out of Manchester, to places like the Sea Life centre or Chester Zoo. These trips act as a little escape for our friends, who often feel trapped in the city centre, and means there’s always something to look forward to in the calendar.

We’re already starting to see success, with individuals taking positive steps by themselves: two of our friends have volunteered at the Beacon one a day a week, helping to run the kitchen, getting stuck into the cooking and cleaning up. Another has signed himself for Alcoholics Anonymous is in order to support his recovery.

Another friend who has been coming to the recovery group regularly was given a small diary by Michelle. Like a normal diary this is used to record his day to day thoughts and feelings. But unlike a normal diary the aim is for it to be mainly used to record every time he used drugs and what happened around that time to help identify triggers that caused him to want to use

Has been keeping his diary it for 3 weeks now he’s finding it really useful and has asked for more pages as he has used up the pages we gave him.

He is finding out his triggers and then with our help he can learn methods to avoid them or overcome them when they do happen. We’re working to help him find healthy support networks and techniques to overcome his triggers.

It is helping him to reflect and look back on his actions and helping him to stop and reflect on his thoughts and feelings, something he hasn’t been able to do much of in the chaotic life he has been living whilst suffering through homelessness and addiction.

Like all journeys, this is just the beginning: but we’re excited to see how our Recovery Group can gently help more people dealing with addiction.

The journey off the streets starts at our Support Centre please support our crowdfunder here