SHP - Camden Aftercare and Social Inclusion Service
This project works with people living in supported housing or hostels in Camden that have substance misuse issues and provides them with access to training, education and employment. The service provides a complete support service to ensure all the elements that enable independence are in place. The day programme was developed by clients and incorporates an element of peer support.
Shortlisted 2011: received £2,000 prize moneySHP got in contact with us this year with an update of their progress following their shortlisting prize in 2011. "SHP has used the £2000 awarded by the Andy Ludlow trust to support individual clients to access education, training and employment opportunities that they may otherwise not have been able to afford. For example we have paid for CSCS cards for individuals who want to get into construction, SIA training for those wanting to access employment in security jobs and photo identification to enable individuals to prove their right to work in the UK when they commence any employment. We have also funded placements for some individuals on a 6 week “mindfulness based relapse prevention” course to help them maintain their recovery from drink and drugs." - Natasha Warne, SHP
For someone with a drink problem, previous addiction to crack cocaine and just months off the streets, Daniel is surprisingly fit. With one 10k run already under his belt, the 29 year-old plans to take on his first half marathon this autumn.
“I thought the 10k would be worse than it was, but I did it in just under an hour and a half and got a real buzz at the end” says Daniel, who ran on behalf of SHP, a charity for the homeless. “I didn’t really do any training for the first one, but I’m going to take the half marathon a bit more seriously.” His sporting achievements are just one demonstration of Daniel’s determination to recover from the drink and drug abuse that has put him on and off the streets for the last 12 years. Born in Croydon, Daniel admits his home life was chaotic.“I’ve never known my dad, as far as my birth certificate goes there’s no record of him and my mum never really spoke to me about him.”
His relationship with his mother, who he describes as “a person who likes getting married and having relationships”, became increasingly strained as Daniel, the eldest child, grew up and started arguing with her and her partners. At 17 he says he “just got tired of it” and left the family home. He hasn’t been back.
Finding himself homeless in the capital, and with nowhere to go, Daniel was forced to adapt to street life. But his drinking worsened and a cannabis habit quickly escalated into an addiction to crack cocaine.
“I was sleeping in bin sheds and parks if it was nice weather. I used to go to a few day centres in Camden, King’s Cross and Lincoln’s Inn to get free food and stuff. Then I’d go out in the West End begging, nicking bags, scoring and drinking.” In and out of hostels, though frequently kicked out for fighting, Daniel avoided prison but was struggling to cope with the ups and downs of homelessness. “At the time, a good day was having money and drinking. There was nothing else to buy as far as I could make out. The bad times were Christmas, especially last year when it was freezing with all the snow and you’re still outside. You go through the referral system to get into a hostel but if you miss out, you’re on your own. I was unlucky last year.”
Daniel feels people’s negative attitudes to rough sleepers in such circumstances are often badly informed, but admits to having similar views before his own experiences on the streets.“ I probably had assumptions about being homeless, that people were a waste of space, not really doing much and that their situation was their own fault. But having been through it myself, I’d say none of that is really true. There are people out there that want to change, given the opportunity.”
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