Ian's story

Client Story Page Title

Ian's story

I used to be married and I have two children. I’m estranged from both of them. That’s what kind of caused me the pain in the first place – I couldn’t cope with the loss. I was homeless for about seven years, I was living in a tent in the woods.

I was an alcoholic and obviously I wasn’t in a very positive frame of mind – life was bleak.

One particular day I was in such a bad way that the council called an ambulance. They carted me off to hospital and they decided to detox me. When I was released I moved to a B&B for a week, I’d not been drinking since I left hospital but I experienced a psychotic break. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for about three weeks. Eventually I was referred to Transform; I had an interview and they kindly accepted me. I’ve been in recovery ever since.

People take things like hot food and showers for granted. So after seven years of having nowhere to live, you have no idea how amazing it was to be able to sit down, relax, and to have central heating!

I will be eternally grateful. I don’t want to let all of that be for nothing. I want to show my gratitude by not messing the whole thing up!

I’ve worked with Mark almost the whole time I’ve been here. We meet weekly and chat about any problems or issues I’ve got. I’ve found the best thing about Transform is having the support there and knowing there is always someone to talk to if you’ve got a problem.

When you’re homeless you can’t plan anything, you live from day to day and you have no future, you’re just surviving basically. Living with Transform has provided a sanctuary, a place of safety and security where you can begin again. Without that I don’t think you can really start anything. You need a foundation. That’s one of the big things about being homeless is you’ve got no support structure and that’s what Transform gives you.

I’m quite busy at the moment; I’ve started volunteering helping other people like me. I was also asked by the alcohol nurses at the hospital to speak at a medical conference. There were about 200 medical professionals, it was quite stressful but I appreciated the help they had given me so I was happy to do anything I could to help spread the good word.

I’ve also got a job as a part-time carer which I hope to expand upon in the future. I’m also in the process of getting in contact with my daughter so that’s ongoing – which is all good!

So now I’m back basically. I couldn’t be happier. I’ve never felt as content and relaxed about life as I do now. I try to look to the future as much as possible but whatever happens in my life, I will never forget the opportunity that Transform and all the other people gave me.

I will be eternally grateful. I don’t want to let all of that be for nothing. I want to show my gratitude by not messing the whole thing up!

Keyworker's comment

Having been homeless for seven years and then in hospital, it was a big change for Ian to move into a furnished flat with Transform. When he arrived, Ian was emotionally and physically fragile and he needed time and support to recover.

He benefitted from being part of a community and knowing staff were available daily if he needed to talk. Ian had lived for so long without a routine that at first he needed support to decide what he needed to prioritise to maintain his tenancy and space to explore what changes he wanted to make.

Through our weekly meetings, I have been able to help Ian build a new structure and work to achieve his goals. The support has been varied including helping Ian to apply for and maintain benefits and to feel more confident about managing his finances.

In addition, I’ve given Ian space to talk and encouraged him to continue to access support to maintain his abstinence from alcohol. I’ve also encouraged him to re-connect with the community by using local support groups such as Catalyst and starting voluntary work and work as a carer.  

It has been a privilege to help Ian to make plans and carve out a new life for himself and to see his self-esteem and confidence develop.