After being released from prison in early 2020 Sean was put into a bail house in Watford while he was being monitored by a GPS tag. However, he was then left completely homeless as soon as that period under license ended and he was left to live on the street for several weeks.
After being approached by one of Haven First’s Outreach Workers, Sean was referred for a bedspace interview at the Stevenage hostel and was subsequently given a bed in June 2020. Sean attributes the miscommunication between his stay in a bail house and finding housing to COVID-19 and just how disruptive it has been to so many people in his position.
Since being at The Haven Sean has dealt with numerous issues that are keeping him in the negative cycle of homelessness. He will openly admit that he had a serious problem with alcohol in his past and having worked with our in-house Substance Misuse Specialist (SMS) he has been able to work through this addiction to the point where he is no longer binging and can have the occasional drink without being triggered into a full relapse.
“I used to be blackout drunk every day and now I can have a casual drink without the pressure in the back of my head to get smashed.” Sean does acknowledge that every day is a new day and a new challenge and that he is still on the journey towards a better life.
Sean has also been doing weekly counselling sessions in-house since he’s been staying at The Haven. He suffers with depression which started when he went to prison so having this service available to him has really allowed him to take control of his emotions.
During his stay at The Haven, Sean also set up the resident Gardening Club which he says keeps him in a routine, distracted from negative thoughts and has given him a sense of responsibility and independence as he is given free rein around the grounds. He even wrote a business plan for CEO, Barbara Howard detailing what his plans for the grounds were, what equipment he would need and how he would be able to access those resources. This plan spanned from asking for donations through Haven First’s social media networks to items being purchased as part of the hostel’s budget. Sean really thought of everything in his business plan, and this level of dedication and tenacity really shows just how committed Sean is to his journey towards independence and a new life.
The next step in his journey is beginning to speak to the Connect Services Team about move on options and also starting the journey of getting back in touch with his children and family members who he has lost contact with due to his previous lifestyle. He also hopes he will be able to go back to work in the engineering field. He has been a Logistics Manager and a Fire Safety Engineer amongst other roles so he hopes he will be able to get back into this field as soon as possible.
Sean’s dedication to becoming a better person is inspiring and all of the staff at Haven First are looking forward to seeing him succeed.