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SSA Blog

Nowhere to Go

Gavin arrived on our doorstep on a cold Friday evening the day he was released from a local prison. He was homeless and hungry. All he had to his name was a small bag with a pair of clothes in. He had nowhere to go. Originally from London, he had no family or friends in the local area so found himself at the young age of 23 trying to build a new life for himself in Manchester.

Due to no fault of his own, he failed to find official accommodation so we felt compelled to intervene and ensure he had a safe and secure environment from which to start building his new life. We sourced him appropriate accommodation, provided him with food parcels and clothing bundles as well as love, care and attention. You could see the desire in him to make something of his life. We were convinced he wanted to change his ways and just needed to be provided with the right support to achieve this. We were literally his only support mechanism and most importantly, his adopted family.

He excelled in our Regional Centres and accelerated through to our ‘Work Skills Programme’ during the year. He is now a fully qualified football coach, is involved in various volunteering work in the city, plays for a local football team and is developing a new peer base. Gavin classes Street Soccer Academy as his family; a group of people who looked beyond his tag of ‘ex-offender’ and simply treated him like a human being, or rather to put it more aptly, a member of our family.

Christmas, that year, marks a significant moment in Gavin’s life – the first Christmas he experienced as an adult out of prison. There’s no doubt that Gavin has moved from being isolated as an individual to becoming fully integrated into the community who contributes positively to society. We are very confident now Gavin has a base to call home, he will find employment and continue to develop himself to take his life onto a whole new level.

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