Henry – not his real name – had spent more than 25 years in trouble with the police. Everything from drug offences to firearms. Facing homelessness again, Henry’s Probation Officer suggested he would benefit from the IOM (Integrated Offender Management) House managed by The Society of St James charity in Hampshire, supported by 3SC. He moved into The House in September 2016.
The House provides not only accommodation but also support for people struggling with substance misuse. It aims to reduce re-offending, and simultaneously improve the health and general wellbeing of the people who stay there.
Henry’s difficulties stemmed partly from the breakdown of his relationships. By living in The House, he felt there were boundaries set that assisted him in weaning himself off drugs and taking greater control over his life.
Henry says: “The care that I received when I came into the IOM House was different to whatever I have experienced in the past. Without The House I’d have most probably still be committing crime, in prison or dead…that was my reality. It’s a really good support network; I have friends and now my family is back in my life…it’s more than I could have ever imagined. I’m moving into my own flat. When I visited it with my Key Worker I met my new neighbours who invited me into their flat, it was overwhelming because I’m not used to anyone receiving me as a stranger so positively. In the past I have self-sabotaged. I don’t feel worthy, but this time it’s different.”