Crisis is one of Dry January’s official charity partners for 2018. They shared Dave’s story with us and why Dry January is so important.
Dave slept rough for four years, and struggled with alcohol addiction. He says:
Being homeless is being invisible. You are invisible.
He came to Crisis after hearing that they offered free courses that could help him realise his ambitions.
“When I got in touch with Crisis I was already sober. I was involved with other charitable organisations and I made a lot of progress.”
He has since taken part in a range of classes and activities which have boosted his skillset, and in turn, his confidence.
“Through Crisis, I have been doing drama workshops, and furniture restoration classes. We are making furniture out of pallets, which is really useful, and we can give the items to Crisis members when they move into properties. I’ve also been attending Maths, English, IT, plastering, tiling – trying a bit of everything really.”
In addition to the classes equipping Dave with valuable, practical skills, he has noticed the improvement in his mental health, especially in terms of his self-esteem.
He says: “A lot of it has been more about my motivation and self-belief. Like drama really teaches you methods to cope with day-to-day life.”
The recovery process has made Dave realise that he wants to support other people too, and he is now working towards his goal of becoming a social worker.
“I felt it was a job I wanted to get into as it helps others. So my tutor at Crisis is helping me gain the Maths and English qualifications I need to get on to an access course at university, and ultimately achieve my dream career.”
“This would never have been achieved without Crisis. The support from my tutor motivated me to believe that I could do it.”
As Dave continues his journey out of homelessness, he is passionate in believing that it is a problem that should and can be ended. He says:
The biggest difference between before I came to Crisis and now, is my personal development. But also an understanding of social responsibility; we need to become people who take more care of our own communities. I know more now about the different aspects required to end homelessness, and I think it can be done.
Why Crisis is partnering with Dry January
Dry January is a great way to raise vital funds to help Crisis end homelessness.
Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. They help people directly out of homelessness, and campaign for the social changes needed to solve it altogether. Together we can end homelessness.
Problems with alcohol and drugs can be part of a person’s spiral into homelessness. Of course, not everyone who has problems with alcohol becomes homeless and not every homeless person has problems with alcohol abuse. However, levels of drug and alcohol abuse are relatively high amongst the homeless population. Two thirds of homeless people cite drug or alcohol use as a reason for first becoming homeless. It is also not uncommon for those traumatised by homelessness to seek solace in drug or alcohol.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said:
With homelessness on the rise due to a shortage of affordable housing and changes to the welfare system, tackling it has never been more urgent. Dry January is a great way to raise vital funds to give people a route out of homelessness, and to support our work to end homelessness in this country once and for all.
Want to get involved?
Download the Dry January app and start fundraising today. Together we can reduce the harm caused by alcohol.