I became homeless at the age of fifteen due to my drug taking habits. My mum asked me to leave because of my constant drug usage, I started living with different friends for about two years (sofa surfing). Then I became so heavily involved in drugs that I was no long welcomed to stay at their house any more either.
At the age of seventeen I started living on the streets and taking drugs every day.
I also was staying in a tent and on some canal boats sited between Kings Langley and Rickmansworth. I was now stealing to feed my habit, and because of this
I ended up being sent to prison several times (almost too many times to remember)
I lived like this up until my last prison sentence which I received at the age of twenty eight. This time my sentence was for 18 months. It was in prison on this occasion that I decided that I simply had to get myself off drugs for good as I could not go on living like this. I came out of prison on the 4th October
2008 and went to live in a tent until a bed became available at the Sanctuary night shelter. When I finally got a bed there I got on well with my key worker, and was regular in taking my prescription medication every day to help me stay away from drugs. I was only in the Sanctuary for a short time when my key
worker told me about GROW and the sort of support I would get from them. At first I was really very worried about sharing a room, but I was convinced by the manager at GROW to visit their hostel and see for myself what it would be like to share a room. Once I had actually visited GROW and realized that it was a
safe, stable and quiet environment and somewhere that I could settle and use as a good solid base to begin to rebuild my life from the trash that it had been, back to somewhere that I could be proud of myself. I made an interview with Jamie (manager) which went really well, and I moved in a few days later on the
9th February 2009. I feel that it was the right move for me says James. “I have already grown up since coming into GROW, and I have been able to start sorting my life out at a pace that I can cope with, and I am still drug free. I feel that with the ongoing support that I am getting from GROW and the help and
support that I will get in the future, that I would like to achieve a stable life style with a job and my own accommodation while continuing to live drug free. I am so grateful for all the help I have received.