Carl (not his real name) was living in temporary accommodation awaiting to be allocated a home of his own when Holly Edwards from Early Break started working with him in August 2021.
He had been homeless for several years, spending time in and out of prison for various offences. Fast forward to October 2021, Carl signed his tenancy agreement and collected the keys to his own property.
Due to the challenging nature of his lifestyle for many years, Carl had no contact with any of his four children as they had all been taken into care.
After he had settled into his new home, I discussed with him the Holding Families programme, which works with children and families of alcohol and substance dependent parents, run by Early Break.
Carl immediately expressed excitement and said Holly should register him onto the programme and that’s what happened.
The six-month course, with fortnightly meetings would need his full commitment, and he asked Holly to accompany to him to his first meeting as he was a little nervous. After that he attended all the sessions on his own and completed the course.
He admitted to having learned so much from the course, in particular the impact of his former behaviour and substance use on his children and said the course helped in preparing him for when he starts seeing his children again.
Working collaboratively with Children’s Social Care, Holding Families and GM Housing First he was assessed and then supported to re-establish contact with his children again.
Carl now sees his children regularly and some of his most happy moments are when he talks about them, such as when they are about to visit him. He frequently shows Holly presents that he has bought for them.
He looks back to the Holding Families programme with in a reflective way and offers thanks to Early Break and the GM Housing First partnership.
Together, we are making a difference.