Justlife: the water hole in the desert

We have been working with Tony* for a few months. Last week he came into the Justlife centre with an envelope. In the envelope was his story. He has given his permission to share it with you. We hope you are inspired…

“Justlife, the water hole in the desert”

I am now in my 50s and this is a brief account of my life so far. 

I left school at 15 with no qualifications and spent a few years doing various dead-end jobs. At 19 after a few juvenile offences I was sent to Borstal.

More or less straight away after my release I became an alcoholic. I drank heavily for over 20 years and also spent lots of time in detox units, but nothing stopped me drinking. 

In my 40s I cross-addicted and started using speed very heavily. This went on for about 8 years and then I began using heroin and crack as well. So I basically switched from alcoholic to drug addict.

The world of an addict is one of always having no money and too much time being bored. I lived in Blackpool for a while and then came back to Manchester. I was homeless for a while and then I was found a place in a Nacro hostel. 5 minutes away from my hostle is the Justlife building. It’s a drop-in centre where you can meet people, get free brews and meals and do various courses. In a world of closed doors and people who don’t want to know you, the Justlife Centre is like a water-hole in a desert, a place that welcomes everybody no matter what you are or what you’ve done.

Matt and his team are non-judgemental and more than willing to help anybody they can and in any way they can. 

Some are members of a local church where I have also started to attend. 

Matt has found me voluntary work to do and a course to do that will fill my time. 

I have decided to give up taking drugs and drink and get my life back together. Matt and the Justlife team are behind me all the way and are helping me in every way they can.

Justlife is a place anyone can go to and be helped and accepted in a world that really does not want to know us. 

I am drug and alcohol free at the moment and I am doing well, and with the help of Matt and Justlife and of course my other helper and friend, Jesus, I feel sure that I will stay this way”