After going through the difficult journey of recovering from addiction and sleeping rough, being in secure employment can offer purpose to someone’s life. This is the story of Ross, who turned their life around with the help of our Intern Programme, and our Housing Services.

“On 31st October 2014, I went into Mill View Hospital Promenade Ward for an alcohol and diazepam detox. Up until my hospital admission, I was street homeless, rough sleeping and begging for change on the streets of Brighton, Hove and Sussex.

I was just over 8 stone in weight and had lost most of my teeth from smoking crack cocaine and heroin for over 25 years.

From Mill View, I went into St Thomas Fund Residential Rehabilitation Service in Hove which is a residential rehab. I successfully completed rehab in August 2015.

In February 2015, whilst still at St Thomas Fund, I started an internship at First Base Day Centre through the BHT Sussex Intern Programme where I was an Intern Caseworker. When I started my internship, I couldn’t even log onto a computer, and I had never worked in any job that held that kind of responsibility.

Also in 2015, I moved into a BHT Sussex property after issues from my previous place.

I first lived in town in a Move On property but found that the anti-social behaviour of my neighbours was having a significant impact on my work, and mental and physical health. I complained and was advised to keep a diary and letters were sent to all tenants involved requesting them to be mindful of the impact of their anti-social behaviour.

Unfortunately, this had little effect, so I was advised to raise the issue further by highlighting my recovery journey and the impact this was having on me.

This was taken seriously, and I was offered to move to a BHT Sussex property where I was much happier living. I am still happy living here now!

BHT Sussex have not only provided me a platform to be able to work in a responsible job through training and learning with a career ahead of me, but they have also provided me with a beautiful home where I can relax after a hard day at work.

On 31st October 2022, I was 8 years clean from drugs and alcohol and my life is one that I could only ever have dreamed of.

After my internship ended, I became a Project Worker for First Base and in 2018, I became a Mental Health Caseworker, which is a role I still hold today.

I am extremely grateful for all BHT Sussex has done for me.

Thank you BHT Sussex.”

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