*Gus’ real name has been changed to protect his identity.

Homelessness – Gus’ story

This is my story of being homeless and working with a number of Medway services, those services I now work alongside, and I wanted to share my story of how this happened.

 

I was given accommodation at a hostel about 10 years ago after a relationship breakdown which caused me to be homeless. I was there for only a short time before I was kicked out due to drinking and not abiding by the rules. I was then sofa surfing for about a year and then the hostel agreed to take me back again. This lasted about 1 year before I was evicted again, this time for non-engagement. At the time I was heavily on speed and drinking alcohol daily. Sadly, engaging with services was the last thing I wanted to do.

 

I therefore ended up being Homeless again for about 4 weeks before I had a chance of accommodation at Pathways. I was there for about 7 months before I also mucked up this chance due to heavy drinking. I was given a 28 days’ notice, but before this run out, on Christmas day I was talked into leaving by my partner at the time and moved onto the street once again.  I lived on the streets for around 6-8 months and in this time as well as alcohol and speed I started to take spice to help me cope and to help me fall asleep at night as being out on the street was so hard and my sleep pattern was all over the place.

 

I was then offered another chance with Pathways and moved into Hamond house. I was at Hamond for around 1 year and In this time I got off the drugs, got a job and started doing well for myself and things started to come together. Then my best friend died, and everything got to much, the job, my recovery and I went backwards. I nearly lost my accommodation, but Pathways gave me lots of chances and understood what I was going through. They worked with me the best they could, and after a domestic incident with my partner, they moved me to another place for my own safety. I was moved to a visiting flat with Pathways and this was great and a fresh start to help myself move forward. I worked hard with my support worker Donna and eventually I was put forward with homechoice to move into independent living.

 

This was over 2 years ago and i have managed to maintain my flat this and I am proud to call it my home. I was keen to use my experience to help others and in 2021 I was asked to be considered to be a peer mentor for Pathways. Here I worked with the coordinator Donna who put me on an 8-week peer mentor training course which I completed at the start of this year. I have also been trained by Turning point and other providers and have had so much training. I am currently doing a training course in working with Complex woman as many of my clients are female clients that lead very complex lives.

 

I have also helped out at ladies’ night run by Nicky at the council, been involved in street counts and help out doing Outreach with other agencies including turning point.

 

A few months ago a part time job was advertised to be a outreach worker for Pathways. I have wanted to work for Pathways ever since I moved in as I can see the valuable work they do. I applied not knowing what to expect, but to my surprise I was offered the job. I am waiting for a start date but I feel all good things come to those that wait, work hard and believe in themselves.

 

I have gone from being homeless, struggling with addiction to having my own accommodation and a job. This is proof that if I can do it anyone can and I hope that working with my current clients they can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Substance Supported Services in Ealing

Mental Health Supported Services in Ealing

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