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Case Studies

How Matt started a new chapter

When we first made contact with Matt*, he was in a very bad state and in poor health. He was sleeping in doorways, and committing daily crimes to fund his substance abuse habit. He wasn’t in receipt of any benefits, and would therefore commit crimes to be able to continue to smoke crack cocaine, take spice as well as to drink litres of alcohol on a daily basis. 

Matt had received his first custodial sentence when he was only 18 years old, and had since spent most of his adult life is custody. When he was released from custody over two years ago, he found himself living on the streets of Manchester with nowhere to go. When Shelter intervened, he’d reached a point where he was open to support. 

After receiving support from Shelter via the GM Homes Partnership, he was set up with accommodation of his own, and has been there now for over a year. He independently stopped smoking crack cocaine and completed drug rehabilitation through an inpatient detox, and is now drug and alcohol free. 

We have also been supporting him to build a CV and to build his confidence to work and move away from a life of crime. He was encouraged to join a gym, which has helped him stay strong mentally and physically, and build a more stable sense of self for him to explore how he can use his existing skills to build a sober, legal life for himself.

Matt completed a self-employment course and has started to create a business plan in order to set up his own business. He is currently going through the process with the job centre to get on the New Enterprise Allowance which would support him to make his business plan a reality by providing him with a low income and covering his rent costs for the first 6 months of self-employment. With all of Matt’s achievements to date, we’re confident Matt will make a success of this latest chapter in his life too. 

*names have been changed for anonymity 

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