“I’m 44 years old I was born and raised in Coatbridge. By the age of 11 I had started smoking and sniffing glue, then my solvent abuse progressed to smoking hash and taking prescription medication. By 16 I was taking codeine based medication on a daily basis and stealing to fund this. I was sentenced to 23 months in a young offender’s institution and by the time I left I was addicted to heroin.

At 19 the courts sent me to a residential rehab in the borders and I stayed here for 13 months. After leaving I’d stopped using drugs, but then started drinking and taking ecstasy. I met a girl and she fell pregnant and I thought my life had turned a corner but my drinking continued. After the birth of my son my partner gave me an ultimatum, give up drink or she would walk away with our kids. I tried, but failed miserably resulting in my partner putting me out of our home. I started going to a group to help with alcohol problems, but starting drinking medication with codeine and by the third day I was back using heroin after 16 years.

My life for the next 8 years was of homelessness and prison. I came home to Scotland for help after a failed suicide attempt. I tried to get clean using methadone and suboxone but nothing worked and I got worse. I ended up sleeping and begging on the streets of Glasgow and it was here I heard about Street Connect and met the Teen challenge bus. I was told by Mike on the bus and Ricky up at Street Connect that I didn’t need to be living in addiction and that they had been addicts and Jesus had set them free,

I was given an application form for The Haven, a Christian Rehabilitation centre in Kilmalcolm. Eventually with Ricky’s help I got the form filled in and on the 29.10.15 I went to The Haven. Here I was introduced to God and told of his love for me and that through Jesus I could have a new life. I was desperately wanting this, as addiction had stripped me of everything; my kids, my family, my dignity and at the end my will to live. God completely turned my life upside down. He restored my relationship with my family, brought my kids back into my life and I’ve just came back from spending a month in Kenya helping out at a rehabilitation centre for street kids.

I am currently living in a flat and working part time and I am hoping to continue trying to help people trapped in addiction both on the bus and at Street Connect and sharing with them and offering them the hope that I was offered. God has completely transformed my life, from begging and living on the streets to a new life and being able to help others and I thank Him wholeheartedly.”