Ahead of World Homeless Day (10 October) a man who lost his home and spent years battling alcohol addiction, is sharing his experience and thanking our homelessness charity Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire for helping to change his life.
Steve (31) 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. Drinking was a way that I could forget about life. As I drank more, a couple of months could go by and I wouldn’t really be aware of anything.”
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, working hard to battle his addiction. After four months, he felt ready to take the next step and so secured a place here at Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire. Our 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.”
If you have been inspired by Steve’s story and want to help our charity, find out how you can support us. It can be as simple as donating unwanted furniture or picking up a bargain at our second-hand furniture shop on Red Lane in Coventry.