Here at SSJ we support people facing homelessness in a variety of ways. Many of the people we work with are battling alcohol and/or drug addiction and we work tirelessly through various schemes and projects in Hampshire, to support people with addiction to turn their lives around.
One of our ex-volunteers Sammy would like to share, in her own words, how SSJ Community Day Rehab in Portsmouth has helped her change her life:
I was at an all time low and didn’t think my life would change and that I would always be a hopeless case.
The rehab made me realise that it didn’t have to be like that.
I stayed at the rehab for 8 weeks however was discharged before the end of treatment because I wasn’t in the right place, and my mental health behaviours were affecting my treatment, but by being discharged it gave me the push that I needed to sort my life out.
A few months after leaving I was invited back to volunteer. At the time I was discharged, I vowed never to go the rehab again however I am so glad I took the opportunity to do so.
I sat down with Anna and we made a plan to create a non-therapeutic group based around arts and crafts.
It changed me. I began to feel like I had a purpose, I believed in myself and realised many people believed in me.
I began to focus on making changes and creating a life for myself. I realised I could do anything I put my mind to, so I enrolled on a health and human science course. It wasn’t the easiest course but I was supported fully by all the staff at SSJ. I didn’t think I would manage to complete but I am proud to say I graduated in 2014; this made me even more determined. I proved many people wrong by getting to the end.
I decided to take a year out of studying and focus on my voluntary work at SSJ, I felt I needed to show people it was possible to come out of the other side, through the darkness. I was inspired by staff which made me feel that becoming a professional in this sector is what I wanted. I applied for a social work degree and have just started at Southampton Solent University in September.
My life is a million miles away from what it was and I am more than proud of myself. I found myself, repaired damaged relationships with my family, I now never want to go back to the place I was before.
I still have bad days but I know I can get through them. I honestly don’t think I would be at this point if it wasn’t for the support of staff from SSJ, and my family and friends.
The best feeling in the world is finally knowing you took a step in the right direction. A step towards the future where everything you never thought was possible, is possible.
We would like to wish Sammy every success in her degree and her future; she shows with determination and the right support it is possible for someone to take the steps towards a brighter future and change their life.
Sammy is coming back for a second year to participate in our End Youth Homelessness Sleep Out next month. She wants to raise money for SSJ so that we can continue to support young people like her away from a life of addiction and homelessness. If you would like to sponsor Sammy then please visit her JustGiving page here and send her some encouragement. Thank You!