Warp Framework

For over a year Dean had been moving from squat to squat. He describes the time: “It was kinda terrible, it felt as if it was getting worse and worse and worse. I had 14 evictions in one year in squats, moving around. The things you see in squats: there can be violence, drugs and alcohol. I’ve had my fair share of that. I decided I couldn’t take it anymore – that’s why I came to GrowTH.”

This was not the first time Dean had been to the shelter, the previous season GrowTH had helped him obtain ID, but Dean left the shelter before housing support could be secured. Moving into the shelter was a transition Dean found difficult. He explains “I had cold feet initially, I don’t know why I did, because it was gonna give me peace of mind, a nice environment, food cooked every night. I was so used to a lifestyle that was chaotic it was really hard for me to settle down. I missed a couple of nights here and there and I thought finally, ‘well, I’m gonna commit to it’.” This decision is one that Dean describes as: “one of the best things I ever decided to do. If I hadn’t come into GrowTH I would have been in the same situation. Coming into GrowTH was a complete blessing, they were really amazing people, giving up their time. Food was good, really good. Conversations with people, you learn more about yourself, trying to renew your mind as well, you’re trying to move forward and not regress into old ways.”

Once Dean committed to the shelter, GrowTH helped him to collect the relevant paperwork and make an application to a local supported hostel. After 3 weeks Dean got some great news: “I was at church on Sunday, I didn’t even know. I went for the interview, you guys arranged an interview. Then [I] found out on the Sunday that I was going on the Monday to sign the tenancy agreement. So it was a massive surprise, a great surprise, just before my birthday. It was the best birthday present. Its a good step, I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn’t be happier, stoked.”

Dean shared openly about one of the key factors that helped him make this transition. Staying in the shelter “brought me closer to God, being in the church every night, I would read the bible a lot, I would sit there every night, I would read the Gospels. On Sunday morning everyone would get together and go to church. It was a good feeling, walking up with the volunteers, it was good. It did bring me closer to God. Even now I have calmed down a lot, things I use to do. It made me realise a lot of things, my faith is a lot stronger.”

“I’ve been 8 weeks in my new place. I couldn’t be happier. I do a lot of community gardening and trying to find some full employment. This time last year it’s worlds apart. I think I was in a squat in Bethnal Green and it was horrible. Having my own peace of mind is a great thing. If it wasn’t for GrowTH I wouldn’t be in this place so I am truly thankful. Big progression for me.”

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