Steve: Thanks to the YMCA, I’m enjoying life for the first time in a long while

Steve came to the YMCA after his marriage broke down in October 2012. He had no self-confidence or self-esteem when he arrived.

Steve said:

‘It was scary when I first moved in. I didn’t really speak to anyone. I was miserable.’

Steve also had a drinking problem, meaning he would be out most days and nights.

We began to see a change in Steve when he started engaging in training. He started to speak to more people in those sessions and form acquaintances, although he still found the prospect of friendship difficult. A key point for him was Christmas 2012 when he helped make Christmas dinner for the other residents.

The staff helped Steve gain certificates in maths, English and I.C.T. He also took part in ‘8 Mile’. 8 mile is an eight week programme designed to develop skills such as confidence, social etiquette, team building and community work. Steve says although these courses were hard work, they gave him a sense of motivation he hadn’t felt since he became homeless.

In addition to accessing training and education provisions, Steve also received support from a councillor and his support worker to manage his drinking and learn how to build relationships again.

Steve moved out of the hostel in April 2013 and into one of our transitional homes. Then in July 2013 he moved into his own flat and found himself a full time job. Once he was living alone it became visible how far Steve has progressed since arriving at the YMCA.

Steve said:

‘Without the YMCA things could have gotten a lot worse, I could have ended up in the gutter. They motivated me to get training and certificates I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I’m enjoying life for the first time in a long while.’