AHEAD of World Homeless Day a man who lost his home and spent years battling alcohol addiction, is sharing his experience and thanking homelessness charity Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire for helping to change his life.
Steve, 38, has now turned his life around after a tragic event led to alcoholism and homelessness: “My dad died from drinking, and I was the one who found him.
“It really affected me, I was a mess and that’s when I started drinking, I ended up battling alcohol addiction.”
As his addiction worsened, Steve lived without a place to call home: “I would often get to the end of the day and crash on a mate’s sofa, I’m lucky that I had people I could turn to because when I did sleep rough it wasn’t good, I remember waking up and feeling so cold.”
Steve eventually reached out and received help from a specialist rehab centre.
After four months, he felt ready to take the next step and so secured a place at Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire.
The homelessness charity, based in Binley, has given him a place to live: “I’ve got a room and support here for as long as I need it, during the week, I help to run the charity’s shop, keeping busy helps me focus and I don’t feel anxious anymore.”
Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire provides a home and meaningful work for 17 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.
Some stay for a few months as they gain confidence and skills before they are ready to move on to independent living; others are in need of longer-term support.
Steve is now hopeful for the future and grateful for the help he is receiving: “I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I know that the team at Emmaus will support me to get my own place and get a job lined up when it’s time.
I’m not the sort of person who easily feels proud of myself, but I know I’ve made some good choices and things are looking up.”
Visit www.emmaus.org.uk/coventry-warwickshire if you have been inspired by Steve’s story and want to help the charity.