My name is Anthony and I’m 35 from Ashton-Under-Lyne. I’ve been at Emmaus Salford since December 2022.
Me and my partner split up, we had three kids together but the arguments were too much. I had to move out and found myself homeless. I turned to drinking and drugs when I was on the streets. Being homeless, whether that’s on the streets or living in a hostel means you’re usually surrounded by drink and drugs 24/7 and that’s how it can happen. I started using so I could pass the days and time and escape it all. I was living like this for about 8/9 months.
I wanted to come off the drugs and alcohol and see my children again so when I was told about Emmaus I thought it could be good for me. One of the conditions of me living here was to stop using and stop drinking, so I found it hard at first as I had to go cold turkey. During the early days, there were times I nearly got asked to leave but after about a month I started to calm down. Coming off alcohol and drugs can make you aggressive so I just needed time.
In a typical day living at Emmaus Salford I wake up around 8.30 am and when I’ve got ready and had breakfast, I head to Lucie’s Pantry, our social supermarket on-site. I spend my working day stocking the shelves, dealing with customers, signing people up and making the place clean and tidy. I really like working in Lucie’s Pantry and I asked if it could be my main job rather than switching around like others do. I like to help people and it makes me feel good to know that I’m helping people out who may be going through rough times like I once was. I’ve always worked in retail so I’ve got skills from that.
As part of our solidarity actions we often help people who can’t afford a shop that week by giving them a food parcel to tie them over. Nine times out of ten that person will come back when they have money and pay for their shopping. I also like meeting customer dogs when they bring them in, I love animals and always have done.
As much as I appreciate Emmaus Salford, I don’t want to be here forever. I’d like to live independently again so I think in the future I’ll be looking to make that happen. But I will say Emmaus is a great place to change bad habits and sort your life out. It’s also a good place for making friends. I’m grateful for the help and support I’ve got here.