“This home has helped me relax. It has helped me manage my abstinence.” - Lee's Story

“This home has helped me relax. It has helped me manage my abstinence.” - Lee's Story

“This home has helped me relax, to calm down a lot. It has helped me manage my abstinence much better.”

Lee's journey is a testament to the power of stable housing in helping recovery. Having dedicated two decades to his career as a chef, DHI Client Lee found himself caught in the grip of alcohol dependency, a common issue in the industry's culture. The late-night work hours and the pervasive party lifestyle eventually took a toll on his well-being, leading to a spiral of dependency.

"Before you know it, you sort of need a drink every night, and you don’t think anything of it. If you don’t have a drink, it's like I can’t get to sleep now. So then one drink leads to another."

Attempting sobriety for over ten years, Lee faced the challenges of relapse, with each episode becoming more intense than the last. The turning point came when a severe relapse landed him in intensive care, a wake-up call that prompted Lee to seek help. The struggle with alcohol forced him out of his chef role, adding another layer of complexity to his recovery journey.

“I woke up about a year ago, and I’d been on a two-week relapse with really strong alcohol. I was walking to the shop, and the next thing I knew, I woke up in intensive care. There were tubes everywhere, nurses running around, and I didn’t know what was going on.

"It was a horrible experience. But if I hadn’t been in intensive care, I don’t think I’d be sitting here today; it was touch and go for a while."

Following his release from intensive care, Lee sought help from DHI, and with the assistance of our partners at Resonance, we were able to support Lee on his recovery journey. Previously living in shared accommodation that was chaotic and had easy access to the alcohol Lee was trying to escape from, finding accommodation of his own was the turning point.

"When I first moved into this place, it had a nice feel about it, a nice energy. Everything was nicely painted, everything newly fitted, all the furniture, it was just ready to move into and a beautiful kitchen.

"There was no hassle needing to get things like pots and pans, a fridge freezer, washing machine, cooker, everything you need. I could just move in pretty much instantly without needing to worry about anything."

Finding solace in his new home, Lee reflects on the significant impact stable housing has had on his life. At the age of 48, he finally experienced having a place to call his own. The immediate comfort of a well-furnished, move-in-ready space provided a stark contrast to the chaos of his previous shared accommodations.

“This home has helped me to relax, to calm down a lot. It has helped me manage my abstinence a lot better.

"My friends pop round, family comes round. It’s been a massive help to my emotional and mental wellbeing as well because I sit here at night-time, and I just totally relax.

"It’s been a nice change in a positive way. And in all fairness, to find accommodation like this, for someone who was in my position before, it’s extremely difficult, and that’s why I feel like [DHI and Resonance], who have made this happen for me, are doing a fantastic job. It does make a difference.”

Lee’s home has become a sanctuary, contributing to his emotional and mental well-being. The location is ideal, surrounded by familiar faces and amenities. Unlike the transient nature of his past living arrangements, this stable home has helped him manage abstinence, resulting in a reduction in relapses.

Damien McLoughlin, DHI's Supported Move On Team Leader, played a pivotal role in Lee's journey. Lee's referral to DHI through Bristol City Council initiated the process, leading to the assessment and eventual placement in his current home. “Lee fitted the bill and has been living here for eight months now. It’s worked out – it’s great to be able to offer people such a life-changing kind of thing – having a house, a stable place, a roof over your head.”

Lee's residence is part of Resonance's National Homelessness Property Fund 2 (NHPF2), a collaborative effort involving expert housing partners like DHI's Home Turf Lettings. The fund acquires properties, refurbishes them to high standards, and entrusts housing partners to manage tenancies while providing necessary support services. This approach, centered on stable homes and community integration, empowers tenants to transition from homelessness to a more secure future.

Lee's story illustrates the link between stable housing and addiction recovery, highlighting the invaluable role played by organisations like DHI and Resonance in helping people turn their lives around.

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Many thanks to our partners at Resonance for making this happen.

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