GASP (Gambling, Alcohol, Substance Support Project)
Our client is a 42 year old female who has been accessing The Vine Centre for 2 years.
Our client moved to Aldershot from Portsmouth after losing her accommodation. She had multiple issues due to her alcohol misuse when she first came into The Vine Centre for support and advice, and she was staying with a friend in Aldershot, who was also alcohol dependent.
When her friend lost his accommodation our client unfortunately became street homeless and she spiraled into a cycle of all day binge drinking, passing out on the streets and then arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
Sadly as a result of this destructive cycle her health quickly deteriorated, she developed Hepatitis C. and she was frequently admitted to hospital but would discharge herself before receiving the appropriate treatment.
During this period our client's engagement with The Vine Centre was erratic, she obviously wanted to be housed but due to her alcohol issue and reluctance to seek help there were no private landlords prepared to give her accommodation.
The situation got even worse when she was arrested for GBH as a result of violence towards another client in 2014. She was convicted and spent 4 months in prison where she was detoxed off alcohol.
On her release from prison she was placed in a half-way house in Reading. This placement was short lived as she could not abide by the acceptable behaviour guidelines in place and started drinking once again.
Homeless again, she returned to Aldershot and became entrenched as a rough sleeper, moving from one doorway to another at nighttime whilst drinking heavily on a daily basis.
What has changed?
In August 2015 she reached an all-time low when she was rushed to A&E following an attempt to take her life through an overdose. She was once again detoxed off alcohol whilst in hospital
However, this time when she was discharged from hospital she made a decision to stay dry and made a commitment to start engaging with support services at The Vine Centre, joining GASP, as well as attending AA Meetings.
With her positive commitment to getting her life back on track, The Vine Centre contacted Rushmoor Borough Council and with our support she was interviewed by Housing Options. Due to the recovery programme The Vine Centre put in place to provide ongoing support, she was given priority status and placed in B&B accommodation on a temporary basis. This was the first major step towards sustainable and independent living.
How are things now?
Another very happy development as a result of her turning her life around was she started seeing her 14 year old daughter again, and has rebuilt family relationships with her brother and his partner, who currently care for her daughter.
With her positively engaging with the support programme put in place by The Vine Centre she is now in private rented accommodation. However, although she has come a long way from that period of her life of isolation and social exclusion, she still regularly attends the GASP group at The Vine Centre, along with aligned support sessions and other social activities.
The good news is she has continued to remain sober. And, for the first time in several years she celebrated Christmas with her family. She even brought her daughter along to join in the festive activities at The Vine Centre for all our clients over the Christmas and New Year Period.