Chris, a 33year old man attended the Petrus Hub together with his girlfriend in May 2022. They were both unkempt, thin, and looking very sad. As both were heavy weed smokers, all their money went into paying the rent (his girlfriend’s residence) and buying weed.
Elaine, one of the Homeless Alliance Response Team nurses, took time out to chat with them both where Chris disclosed that for the past 3 months, he had begun to drink alcohol again. This was after a 2year abstinence and had now begun to cause problems in his relationship as his girlfriend did not drink.
After an initial discussion and the offer of support, Chris made the tough decision to decline the offer of Turning Point and instead try to resolve his issues on his own. Although his decision was strongly disagreed with, a promise was made to him that if he was struggling, he could return to Elaine or attend Turning Point directly.
Sadly, several weeks later Chris came back to Petrus. In an all too familiar story, he had been kicked out of the flat by his girlfriend and had slept in an alley for the last 2 nights. Furthermore, he was shaking due to lack of alcohol, extremely upset, dishevelled and not knowing what to do. Remembering Elaine’s promise, he had come back and was now in a place in his life where he needed her support.
Chris was given breakfast and a hot drink, followed by a hot shower and clean clothes. He was then sat down, and a plan of action was agreed. This included a referral to Turning Point as well as the Homeless Team at Petrus on account of his homeless status as well as a general health check.
However, despite all this support all Chris wanted his mum! Elaine has a son who is Chris’s age, so for her, it was upsetting to see him like this. Having achieved success several years ago with Turning Point, Chris was embarrassed to return there as he felt he had let everyone down, including himself. Reassurance was given with positivity, support, and understanding and it soon became evident that a rapport and trust were starting to build between Chris and Elaine.
Later that day, Chris contacted his mum, dad, and sister who offered him some support with a temporary bed for that night which he gratefully accepted. Following on from that night he was offered a bed at an abstinent hostel, on the condition that he remained alcohol-free.
The transformation in Chris over the following months was nothing short of extraordinary! He attended group talking sessions, joined the gym, started swimming and even went on a camping holiday with the hostel buying new clothes to take with him. His attitude to life, in general, has flourished and he has now begun a 5-year plan. He’s happy, bubbly, and chatty whilst health-wise he looks brilliant, fit, and healthy.
Chris still calls into Petrus but only occasionally now just to give Elaine a hug, say thank you and let her know what he’s been up to and what his future looks like. He’s doing a lot of volunteer work supporting people and providing a positive future to others in between his college work.
Twelve months after Elaine and Chris’s first meeting he has been abstinent for 10 months! He’s just completed a Level 2 Counselling course as well as a Peer mentoring accredited course at college. In September 2023 he will start a Level 3 Counselling course in Stockport and following this, he would like to go on to university. Brilliant!
What an amazing journey Chris has been on. Elaine, HART and all the service providers are all justifiably extremely proud of him.