A MAN who was made homeless as a teenager has opened up about conquering drug addiction with support from a Coventry charity.
Jordan Harcombe, 22, has found a new lease of life working with the Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire homeless colony.
He said rough sleeping and becoming indebted to drug dealers was a scary experience.
He thanked the colony – which provides a home and meaningful work for 18 people at one time – for guiding him on the path to recovery.
Since going clean, he has turned his attention to recycling and raising important funds for homeless people by restoring discarded furniture.
Jordan said: “At 15, I was asked to leave my family home. The prospect of homelessness scared me a lot.
“I slept where I could – on the streets or in the woods and sofa surfing. I ended up being homeless for six years.
“I would sleep over at four-day parties, taking whatever drugs I could get my hands on, in a room full of people that I had never met before.
“There were times when I was in a scary situation – sometimes I owed money to drug dealers.
“It definitely made me grow up quicker.”
After joining the charity, he has been working in the specialist second-hand furniture shop on Red Lane, Foleshill.
He is calling on local people to donate and ‘recycle’ unwanted items of furniture, with a free collection service offered by the charity.
His call comes ahead of national Recycle Week from September 24 to 30.
He continued: “This is the longest time that I’ve been clean; Emmaus has given me the opportunity to get up and go, and have a new outlook on things.
“I used to spend any money that I made on drugs, but now I plan to get a job so I can save up for a deposit on a flat.
“It’s helped to change my life completely and I wouldn’t be where I am now without Emmaus.”
Each year, the Coventry-based charity says it ensures over 6,700 pieces of furniture, worth over £120,000 a year are saved from the rubbish tip.
Jordan added: “We’re asking people to take a look around their house, sheds, lofts and garages – if they have any quality furniture they don’t need, they can call us to book a collection from their home.”
The charity offers help to people as they gain confidence and skills before they are ready to move on to independent living.
And it provides longer-term support for those in urgent need – offering accommodation for as long as necessary, it says.
The charity is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
To book a free collection for unwanted furniture, call 024 7666 1466 or visit www.emmaus.org.uk/coventry_warwickshire