John became homeless in 1992 due to alcohol addiction and following a breakdown of relationships with his family. On becoming homeless, John spent some years living in hostels, however, drug use was rampant in the hostels so he began to sleep rough on the streets of Dublin, in parks and squatting in old buildings. John returned to live in a hostel two years ago. As per hostel rules, he would have to leave by 10am in the morning and could not return until that evening. As a result, John was hanging around street corners, drinking heavily with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
John was first diagnosed with a mental illness in the late 1980’s but was soon discharged from the psychiatric services and was left unaided regarding his mental health support needs for years. John became linked back in with mental health services through Ushers Island in 2006 and has remained supported by the team there since. John continues to link in with Ushers Island Programme for the Homeless twice per week.
Since he got his apartment in Aug 2016 with HAIL, John has started a course in Horticultural Science in a local Community College and also attends a Training Centre.
“Since I moved into my apartment the changes are unreal. I never thought I would have so many changes in my life and I put it all down to HAIL. This year I was involved with the Green Ribbon campaign and never thought I would see the day I would be handing out Green Ribbons in town or becoming part of a flash mob!!”
“I love the freedom I have now. I can come and go as I please and can cook and eat what and when I want.”
John attends AA meetings to support him in his alcohol recovery, attends Ushers Island twice per week and takes every Wednesday off to collect his money and do his shopping and chores.
“My family are so proud of me, they are delighted for me.”