After his 21-year-old daughter tragically died of cancer, Chris really struggled to cope. He began drinking heavily, eventually losing his job and his home, and ended up in a B&B in the Openshaw area. The conditions in the property were very poor, a lot of the other residents also misused alcohol, and Chris continued to drink heavily on most days. Several years later, Chris began coming to Justlife’s weekly drop-ins in Openshaw and took the first steps to getting his life back on track.
With our support, Chris was able to get himself registered for social housing and began to slowly reduce his level of drinking. After several months, in March 2016, Chris was offered, and moved into, a 1-bed flat in a sheltered accommodation scheme. Although he still struggled with his grief and drinking, Chris generally coped well, lived independently and was happy in his new place. He also found some part-time work and even volunteered as a gardener at Justlife’s Openshaw centre in order to keep himself busy.
In July 2019, coinciding with the anniversary of his daughter’s death, Chris reached out to one of the support workers at Justlife. He said he had been drinking heavily, had stopped going into work, had missed two rent payments, and was at risk of losing his home. Chris and the worker immediately put a plan in place in order to resolve his crisis. Thankfully Chris’s employer was sympathetic to the situation and allowed him to keep his job.
Justlife also helped Chris access legal advice, redirect his benefit payments, negotiate with his housing association, set up a rent repayment plan, and eventually attend a court hearing where a judge ruled in his favour. This meant that Chris kept his home and could continue repaying his debts, maintain his employment and, most importantly, not end up back in a B&B or even on the streets. We also provided Chris with emotional support, helping him realise the impact his drinking had had on his life. Chris is now determined to reduce his drinking and not let it escalate to crisis point again.