Kevin was one of the first customers to move into our new homelessness assessment centre in Kensington and Chelsea. He has made great strides in tackling drug dependency.
Before I came to the assessment centre. I had spent time rough sleeping. I was addicted to drugs and my entire life was focused on servicing that dependency; I didn’t care about anything but getting my next fix.
I had stayed in other hostels before, but I didn’t feel comfortable in them, as they were way too crowded, and there was always the risk that I could get hold of drugs from other residents. I was on a terrible downward spiral, until the council helped me get here.
But, at the assessment centre, I’ve started getting my life back together again. Slowly but surely. I’m in a quiet and peaceful environment where I can take things at my own pace. The rooms are amazing, I’ve got my own kitchen and get to cook my own food, I have my own bathroom too. My outlook has changed, I nearly gave up hope before.
Sometimes making a change is not easy, it’s really hard, but the staff are there when I need them. They are really friendly and supportive, and I get on with everyone here.
The support is helping me to get off drugs, I’ve been engaging with Turning Point too which has had a big impact. I keep away from the wrong crowd and the wrong part of town and have cut my usage down to a bare minimum. I’m working with the staff here in order to go further too. I want to get ready for detox and rehab, so I can come off the methadone.
One of the most amazing things about being here is that it’s saved my legs. They were so bad from where I’d been injecting heroin, but they are much better now. I never thought in a million years that I would get my legs back like this, I was afraid they would be amputated, now I have barely any wounds, and I’m hoping I won’t need any more bandages soon.
I know we can all have setbacks, and I might have more too. But it’s how you handle and respond to them that matters. At the end of the day, I’m glad I’m here, and I’m glad I’m moving myself forward. Having structure and a goal really helps.
My ambition now is to become a professional chef or be an outreach worker to give back and help other people in a similar situation. It may take a while but that’s my goal for further down the line. I’m not going backwards; I’ve come a heck of a long way.
There’s a long way for me to go, but I’m in the right place. I always thought I’d be homeless and addicted to drugs for the rest of my life. But now I feel confident that I can beat my addiction, and I can be someone.