So often, the people we support have fended for themselves for so long that they can find it hard to ask for help. Here we share the story of John, who stayed with us and managed to turn his life around.

John had been in and out of homelessness for many years. Most recently he was sleeping rough in Winchester having broken up with his partner. Suffering from an addiction to heroin he recognised that he needed help but asking for support did not come easily to him. He would regularly come to the window of The Winchester Beacon at night time for hot drinks. Our staff would chat with him and gently encourage him to consider coming to stay. Eventually one of our support workers managed to get him to agree to have a look inside.

A few days after the visit he dropped a note at the window finally asking for a place to stay and help to get back on track. In the letter, he said: “I find it very hard to ask for help and I think now is the time I really need some help, I am really very desperate. So please accept my request.”

During John’s stay he was able to access free weekly counselling sessions to enable him to address some of the many issues he has had to deal with over the years, this will continue even after he has left.

John has recently moved into his own property with the support of his family. He has chosen to live in a new area, away from the temptations of his past. He is in regular contact with his support worker, Inclusion for his substances misuse and fellow residents who continue to give him moral support.

The Winchester Beacon was able to assist him with items of furniture and a TV needed for his move on, a food parcel to get him started and ongoing support.

On leaving, he wrote another note which said: “Words can’t express the kindness and hope that every one of you that works here has given me over the last two months I’ve spent here. You were all so kind and helpful to give me help, advice, encouragement and above all, the care and compassion that I craved.”


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