How we can help

Here at Haven we have many years experience in helping people who feel they are unable to move forwards with their life and unable to reach out for the correct support.
The study below is a recent life story and demonstrates what we can achieve for people who are struggling.

“I had been in and out of hostels for years with no settled home and a fractious relationship with my family.

I was classed as a trouble maker and I rebelled about everything.  I was called high risk because my reputation went with me from place to place and I had no reason to take responsibility for myself.

Mental health, bad health and substance abuse were my day to day reality and I didn’t see much of a future for myself. My life was messed up and I was frustrated and angry with my way of living without knowing how to take control and change it and myself.

I had been surviving in a hostel on ‘The Hill’ in the West End of Newcastle.  The place was noisy, chaotic and unpredictable. It was a dry house but it didn’t stop me drinking. I took it out onto the streets where I just got into more trouble. I didn’t care, I felt so tightly controlled and that made me want to rebel all the more.

I was due to go into hospital for an alcohol detox. Not my first and at the time I thought probably not my last.  My chances of staying sober were nil going back into the hostel after detoxing. To give me a fighting chance, and I wasn’t even sure that I wanted one, I was referred to other supported housing away from ‘The Hill’ and the drinking culture which had controlled my life so far.

That was when I came to live with Haven

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. I was still drinking, I was still angry and my life was still messed up. I thought I was ready to sort myself out but I had too many people around me who wanted me to fail and I was easily led.  

Haven didn’t give up on me and stuck with me and fought my corner. Two weeks after I came to live with Haven I went into hospital for my detox. When I came out of hospital I had my first sense of feeling in control of my life and I was terrified. 

My key worker saw me every day and that daily contact made all of the difference to me. We would go out and spend time in a ‘normal’ environment and we would talk about how I was coping and how to stay in control. I felt included and listened to and felt for the first time that I had a say in how my life was and was going to be. My confidence increased and I started to come to Haven Residents’ Club and go on the trips and loved the Festive Days.

 I made new friends but found it hard to separate myself completely from my old life and still drifted back to the people that I had known before and soon started to drink again.

Then 4 months after moving in with Haven I found out that I was pregnant and everything changed again.  My family gave me very little support and they did not understand what I was going through and they did not want to. Haven supported me both physically and emotionally to break the news to my family, throughout my long battle with Social Services and through court as I fought to keep my son.  Haven was even there with me when I met his adoptive family.  I was devastated when he was adopted and I do not know what I would have done without Haven.

I had to keep my head straight for my son and I worked with Haven to be able to get my own flat and be able to manage it. I moved into my lovely little flat and furnished it with Haven’s help.

I come to Haven regularly and go on the trips and come to the Festive Days. Haven is there to give me support if I ask and most importantly Haven helps me to stay in contact with my son.

I have been in my home for 4 years now. It’s still hard sometimes but I try my best to manage and I am where I never thought I could be and wouldn’t be without Haven.”

This story is from one of our residents and always good to hear that we have made a huge difference in someone’s life.