“GrowTH was the starting point for turning my life around.”
A new beginning
Having lived abroad for many years, Jonathan decided to return to the UK but unfortunately found it difficult to get work due to new regulations in his industry and so ended up squatting. 5 years down the line and with the squats being overrun and substance abuse rife, Jonathan knew it was time to try and get on the right track.
In his words, “I really wanted to make a big change.” Jonathan registered with Crisis and was soon referred to NEWway night shelter and subsequently into GrowTH.
“Faith in action”
Although wary of night shelters and admitting that he found sleeping in a room with 15 individuals a “struggle and a challenge”, Jonathan’s reservations soon melted away. “I was struck by the genuine compassion, the open mindedness and the gentleness and patience of the staff, coordinators and volunteers. As an individual who had lost touch with fundamental human nature, it was humbling to see people’s
Jonathan continues, “Religion was never really a thing for me, I had so much going on. When I started to come here and see proper faith where they adhere to the commandments and stuff like that I thought ok, there are some good people and I have kind of re-evaluated everything.”
Jonathan was referred by NEWway into a local accommodation in Tower Hamlets, with the referral coming to fruition during his time in GrowTH. Although he was at one time at the point of quitting the night shelter to go back to his former life, some words of encouragement to look beyond the short term from his Advocate Worker helped Jonathan to see the importance of seeing through his final days in the shelter. Jonathan’s patience paid off and he was offered a room in the highly rated accommodation he had been referred to. He reflects, “I just needed an opportunity and I was given an opportunity.”
The perfect step
Jonathan is now settled into his new accommodation and is considering his future. He’s hoping to take a course in engineering and is looking forward to securing a stable job. For now though, he enjoys swimming and going to the gym and sees this as “the perfect step … everything from the past has started to slip away.”
Jonathan concludes, “I see myself in a position now where I can improve and be the sort of person I want to be. That would be my particular way of honouring His name. When you actually look at it [the Bible] there are some really touching verses that tell you how you should interact with people. If we all did it, it would work out far better.”