Leaving the endless loop of hopelessness.

Almost every day, Dwayne’s approach to life, is a commitment to facing his past vulnerability.

He sits in his own home, focusing on a new chapter in his life. He is about to start university, and train as a support worker, with a specialism in drugs.

Dwayne not only has a brighter future to look forward to but an ability to help others. He’s personable, eloquent and passionate about what happens next for him.

But it wasn’t always like this.

A little while ago he had been homeless for 20 years.  The symptom of a myriad of issues in his life. Bad debt had placed him there. Due to genuine inability to face these issues, he kept pushing them aside. This led to his dependence on the one thing that would make them go away, drugs.

But the drugs were temporary. They were not a cure all for the mental health, anxiety and loneliness that he faced. So, his life became an endless loop of hopelessness. And indeed homelessness.

Dwayne knew he had to get on top of it all, but the fear of confronting his demons made him take a different path. All he needed was a helping hand to lift him up. Someone to listen to him. And someone to help set him on a better path.

Helped by the Homeless Team, he was referred to SAMH, and for the first time he felt able to open up. That’s when his life started to turn around.

Dwayne was encouraged to talk about his goals and ambitions. A detailed plan and structure for the support he needed was drawn up, with him. It recognised and encouraged Dwayne’s own strengths.

As time passed he became more confident and independent. Support was reduced.

Dwayne faced his fears: he addressed his anxiety and ability to face confrontation. The root of most of his problems. He’s done this slowly, through constant repetition and support.

Football helped him get over crowds. Medication helped him get routine. And working closely with support workers has helped him to deal with problems over the phone, which in time has built his confidence to do things alone.

This combined work, careful planning and so many others things no less important, has led Dwayne to once again be a confident member of society. He is a member of a great church, doing lots of volunteer work and he is giving back, helping to run an outreach project close to the home SAMH helped him get.

Referral process

Referral via a social worker, GP, advocacy or addictions worker. Service open to men and women over 16 who have been homeless, at imminent risk of homelessness recently, and/or suffering from addiction.

Service: Bloomfield Road Supported Accommodation, Aberdeen
The Bloomfield Road service works with people who have experienced homelessness, many of whom also have addictions. It’s designed to offer support to regain independent living skills, manage substance abuse, and demonstrate to potential landlords that they are able to maintain all aspects of their tenancy agreement.

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