Gary: from “full-blown alcoholic” to happily married working man
I’d been homeless since I was about 16 on and off, travelling all over: the West End of London, Edinburgh, Southampton, the same story wherever I went. Looking for a fresh change but never finding one.
After 9 years in an unhappy marriage and time in prison, my little brother died and I made the transition from being a heavy drinker to full-blown alcoholic.
I’d heard about Acorn House because through people who had lived there at one time or other, so I came to London, went for the interview with SCT and they offered me a place, the 29th January 2007. I came down with nothing but a black bag of clothing.
"All the staff: Big Chris, Ray, Dave Carroll to name a few gave me so much support and encouragement to help me find myself."
My eyes opened. All the staff: Big Chris, Ray, Dave Carroll to name a few gave me so much support and encouragement to help me find myself. I stayed in Acorn House for 13 months, during which time I got dry but I fell ill, really ill– I had to have three operations on my stomach in the space of four months, and have a part of bowels removed because of the drinking. There were times I couldn’t even get out of the building, couldn’t even get out of bed, and they helped me through it, if it wasn’t for their support I know I wouldn’t have lasted.
"After Acorn House I moved on to the ‘third stage’, a shared house, where I started to learn all the basics, cooking, cleaning, all that, it’s all pretty basic stuff but it’s perfect the way they progressed me through it."
I started going to Church and one day when I volunteered to help with the projector, I met David, my current boss and his wife, and they offered me a job at his IT firm Fluid IT even though I’d never touched a computer in my life. It was voluntary for the first few years (I wasn’t ready for paid employment), whilst I was still living in the ‘third stage’ in a ‘dry house’ being fully supported by SCT, and I was gradually trained up. I’ve been here seven years now, I’m a fully trained IT technician and dispatch manager, so I organise everyone to go and do their jobs, and we provide IT support for SCT.
"I absolutely love and respect the whole program at SCT as it works amazingly."
With SCT’s help I’ve now got my own flat in Bermondsey, I’ve learnt to drive - I drive to work every day to a job that I love, and I’m happily married. Everything happened in just the right order – it’s amazing how it’s all turned out. I absolutely love and respect the whole program at SCT as it works amazingly.