December 2004 - Part 1
|My name is Ian. I first came to the project after being referred by Alice Macgregor who was an outreach worker for the homeless in Nottingham. Alice referred me to the All Saints project for housing and support in Radford. I was on 80mls of methadone a day at the time. I was known as a rough sleeper and I had many issues to deal with. |
I was interviewed by all the staff and they showed me a shared house. It was lovely and clean - unlike me at the time! I was covered in body lice and had a full beard.
I had to keep in touch with Alice, as I had been told that the workers had to have a meeting and that they would make their decision.
Three days and long nights passed. Then I saw Alice and she said that I had been accepted. I was overwhelmed with the news. I had to wait until Monday though.
I went to the Albion to see the local doctor so I could get some medication to get rid of my lice. It was a long weekend; the longest I could remember. Anyway, Monday eventually came, and I arrived at the project after picking up my scripts and medications. All I wanted was a bath so that I could get rid of those lice!
When I arrived the staff made me very welcome. I knew one of them, Jill, from a homeless project. The staff got me some clothes, soap, a razor and a new bed. It was like all my birthdays had come at once. Emma showed me the bathroom, and there I got rid of all my unwanted creatures! I shaved my beard off and got into clean dry clothes. I felt on top of the world. I was lovely and clean, the staff didn't recognise me - until they saw my one-armed National Health glasses! What a transformation!
I was told that Sandra was going to be my keyworker. She helped me each step of the way with filling in forms, Social Security grants for clothing and an application for the Ley Community, a rehabilitation centre in Oxford.
The staff felt like my long lost family. They all worked so well together. I gradually reduced my methadone, and didn't use on top. We had trips out and little parties, and the staff introduced me to Double Impact.
Alice and the team at All Saints gave me structure, self worth, self respect and a purpose. I have five children. Three are in care and I also have two daughters who live with their mum. I got to see my daughters, and then, after many phone calls and hard work from me, I was accepted into the Ley Community. First I went to Wells Road and detoxed. I then went to the Ley Community for eight months. I dealt with my issues and began to grow. I came out two months premature and went back to Nottingham. I stayed with a friend until I got into the YMCA.
Unfortunately, I relapsed on alcohol after a few months. I didn't think I had a problem with alcohol at first. I was told that I had at the Ley and now I knew this was a fact. I began to go to self-help groups. As a consequence of my relapse, I was homeless again. With help from Alice, I now have a home within the project (All Saints). I have stayed clean from all mind-altering substances for eight months thanks to the project and what I have learned from the Ley, Double Impact and other sources. I have started to get back in contact with my three boys with the help of Taz.
I have started a college course and I talk to homeless people. I have done conferences and I now have a lovely girlfriend who is pregnant. My future is getting brighter. Don't give up.
Thanks to all that have helped me and who still are.