Signing up to recovery

Our congratulations to Chris J on his new job with the Street Buddies outreach project in London and on his new flat. A Kairos “graduate”, Chris looks back here on his path to recovery.

“November 23, 2010 is a date I won’t forget. It was the day I arrived at Kairos Linden Grove. I’d just left hospital after being rushed in with liver failure – I was a real mess, at death’s door, really. Looking back I must have been crazy as well because I didn’t want to go to detox, even though I might die before Christmas. Given it was already November, I accepted the opportunity to turn my life around. I had done detox before, so I thought it would be the usual three or four weeks and back out into the madness.

“But thankfully something was different this time. I was surrounded by great people, and I don’t mind saying there was a lot of love in the place. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. Many times I wanted to walk but with the help and support I had, I stayed. I went on to do the Garden Day Programme, which really helped at a risky time in my recovery, then Aftercare.

“Since then I have volunteered in a number of places. I went to college and learned British Sign Language (BSL). As I’d been homeless on the streets for 15 years, I wanted to help in that field, so I started volunteering with Street Buddies who work with long-term homeless people, and six weeks ago they offed me a full-time job. So now I’m three years sober, I have a job and I have just moved into my own flat. All this would not have been possible without Kairos. I can’t mention all the people I am grateful to – they know who they are. So I sincerely thank you all for everything.”

To find out about Street Buddies, click here.