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Residents transformed by support

Residents transformed by support

Two recent former residents of an Adullam Homes service in Bolton have spoken out about how their time at Next Steps encouraged them to make significant positive changes to their lifestyles.

One of them, Peter, admits he was not in a good place when he first used the service. “I came six months ago when the project first opened. I was a right mess. I was using £250 worth of heroin and crack cocaine a day.”

His friend David admits he was not sure about using the service. “I was living on the street for six months before I moved into the project. I was reluctant at first, but it turned out to be the best I’ve done.”

It was dedicated work by staff and making the project property feel like home that they say has encouraged them to turn their lives around.

Senior Project Worker Giuliano Achilli started to talk to Peter and David and this, together with actions such as taking time to decorate the house at Christmas, led them to decide they wanted “a better life”.

They told Giuliano they had decided to detox from drug use, “because of the support, trust and encouragement” that they had received from him. They gradually reduced their use to £40 a day, and in the last few weeks have got it down to and maintained it at zero.

The setting has been important too, as Giuliano explains: “They stated that the project is run like a home and feels like a home not like a hostel, so that also played a part in the decision to better themselves and detox so to “have a better life” in their words.

“They were very taken back, particularly at Christmas when the house was decorated and they (all the clients really but these two were the more vocal) said that it felt like being back home with their mothers as it all felt so personalised and homely and not just like a decorated hostel.”

Peter states quite clearly what he thinks would have happened without the help he has received. “If it wasn’t for this place I think I would be dead by now. I’ll be sorry to leave here because the staff have been like family and nothing has been too much trouble for them to do for us.”

David backs him up. “The staff are all nice and helpful. If you need help and ask, you get it. If they say they’re going to do something, they do it. I got all the help I needed and more.”

Outreach officers from Bolton Council and the Homeless Adults Nursing team visit the provision several times per week and noticed on the visits that the two individuals had become very engaging, positive, polite, and willing to engage and change their habits.

The transformation has been sealed with physical changes. The men stated that their look reflected who they were and not who they are now, so they want their hair cut and better clothing, so as to portray a better image of themselves.  “Instead of spending our money on drugs, I’m spending my money on new clothes and a haircut,” Peter proudly said.

Peter and David have now each learned that they have been successful in applying for homes of their own and they’re now ready for the next chapter in their lives.

Dave Moore, Head of Support at Adullam Homes said: “Peter and David are excellent examples of how Adullam Homes Housing Association restores hope and dignity through quality accommodation and support. We wish them well.”

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member with responsibility for community housing services, Cllr Adele Warren, said: “This is a great example of successful partnership working, providing a service which makes a real difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents, putting them on the path to sustained tenancies and better outcomes.”

Next Steps in Bolton is an eight-bedroom facility. It is funded by Bolton Council with support from Ministry of Housing and Local Government through the Government’s Rough Sleeping Initiative Next Steps Accommodation Programme. It operates on a night shelter model.

The doors open from 6pm to 10pm and residents have to leave by 9.30am the following morning, however this can be varied dependant on client needs; for example, Dave and Peter were allowed to remain in the project 24 hours a day due to them detoxing.

Next Steps is managed by Adullam Homes in partnership with Bolton Council. All referrals are managed through the Council’s Rough Sleeping Outreach team.


Photo: One of the two residents after having his hair cut and buying new clothes.