“Since I’ve been involved with Street Connect my life has just changed so much – dramatically!”
We were there for Andrew all the way: from inviting him in from the streets, very much trapped in a cycle of addiction – all the way through a lengthy recovery process – to helping him start a new career by supporting him to secure an outreach and support worker internship with Oxygen Projects in Nottingham in 2021. We first met him in 2018. In Nov 2023 he gained an NVQ3 in Health & Social Care and on the back of that got a new job as a Senior Support Worker with Elevate Supported Living, helping people with complex needs like addiction. He has also started his own family now – Andrew and his fiance have a beautiful wee girl.
 

But when he first came to us, he felt “life wasn’t worth living”:
 I’m 35 and I’ve been using drugs since the age of 11he told us. My dad was into drugs. While growing up I had lost touch with my dad for many years but as a young teenager I met up with him again and both me and my brother ended up using heroin with him. That was the first time we had tried it. I became a drug addict, living life for the drugs every day, in and out of prison. I lived in what was like a third world country to me, in poverty and addiction. I shared a flat with my brother and it was a nightmare as we were both in addiction.
 

It takes time for people to feel comfortable enough to ask for help
 
Andrew’s brother and lots of his friends were coming along to our Possil drop-in, so Andrew ended up hanging around there. One day in 2018 “A support worker asked if I wanted to come in and get a cup of tea. It’s given me people who understand, who’ve had the same life I’m going through.” Over a few months, we talked through Andrew’s situation and provided 1-2-1 counselling to help him get ready for Teen Challenge’s residential rehab centre. “Street Connect have been brilliant with me and I’ve been given the support I’ve needed to reduce my methadone [intake] and get prepared for rehab.
Andrew made it to rehab but only managed to stay for 6 months; and when he came back to Glasgow, he had to stay in a homeless hostel. Life was so difficult for him there that we gave him a place in our move-on flats and Aftercare programme (we normally expect people to have been drug-free for a whole year first). Arriving in March 2020, he stayed with us for 7 months and made strong progress – so much so, we could refer him on to start the internship with Oxygen Projects  mentioned above.

It takes time for people to turn their life around.