In 2018 Ian was sleeping rough on the streets of Oxford, committing crimes to fund his addiction. His relationship with his family had broken down, and he could not see his children. Four years on he is living in his own flat, a place he can finally call home, and he reflects on how far he’s come since receiving help from our Adult Homeless Pathway service.
What was your life like before receiving help from Connection Support?
Hell, bang on it! Using, committing crime, nowhere to live. I knew my family loved me, but my lifestyle hampered our relationships. My family used to hide everything otherwise I’d sell it. I wasn’t allowed to see my kids.
How would you describe yourself as a person at that point in your life?
I was a ‘junkie’. I was a nice person that done wrong things to make myself feel well. I wouldn’t have hurt anyone but did target businesses to make the money I needed. I always tried to be polite.
How has Connection Support helped you?
Housing was the biggest thing. Staff seeing me regularly, going to the dentist with me. I liked their honesty. When I thought I was looking okay, they would explain how my using was affecting me. They helped me engage with other agencies to do things with my time which was helpful.
What is your life like now?
Good, clean, healthy – I’ve got my own flat. I’ve built good relationships with my family and I’m seeing my kids – trying to make them proud. I’m very house-proud now as well, so I’m always making sure my flat is clean and tidy and paying my bills which I feel is a big achievement. I’m also helping my friends with bits of work and volunteering to keep me busy. I make sure I treat people how I want to be treated. I love waking up in the morning fresh!
What are your hopes for the future?
‘Normal’ – I want to build a family, settle down, get a job, go on holiday. Not rich, just comfortable, and not have to worry about bills. I want to continue building relationships with my daughters. I love Christmas and I look forward to spending it with my family.
How would you describe yourself now?
I’m a good person, ready for anything. I’m looking forward to life’s challenges and feeling positive I can face them.
What is the biggest difference Connection Support has made in your life?
Housing and support with addiction. My Support Workers’ persistence and determination gave me hope for the future. Knowing someone believed in me made all the difference!