1 Nov 2019
'SmartMove saved my life'
Five years ago, Paul was married, he had a full time job and a mortgage. After losing both his father and his sister in very quick succession, Paul suffered a mental breakdown and he made an active choice to make himself homeless. "I just came home from work one Friday and decided I'd had enough of everything. Bills, responsibilities, just life in general. I thought by making myself homeless, I could escape from all of that and that nobody would miss me".
Paul spent 11 months of his life street homeless. He developed a drug problem. He soon realised that his decision to become homeless wasn't the right one. "Being homeless wasn't giving me the things I thought it would. I wanted to feel free. Instead my mental health went downhill and I just felt worse and worse. I didn't know what to do or where to turn".
After walking back to Halifax from Bolton, Paul went to a friend's house and together they found Calderdale SmartMove. "They saved my life. Literally saved my life. I've never looked back". A tenancy was secured for Paul and then he completed an abstinence programme at the Basement Recovery Project, part of which involved living in a detox house. "SmartMove told me they'd be there waiting for me when I came out of detox, and they were. They sorted me out with another property and I'm still there now".
Paul's life now looks very different. He is still in the same tenancy. He is clean and sober. His mental health is good. He is in his third year of a Health and Social Diploma and he plans on moving on to a career in care. "I just want to help people the way SmartMove helped me. I can't say it enough, they mean so much to me. Even now if I do need a bit of support I know they're just on the other end of the phone". Paul takes part in various different fundraising events, he's cycled coast to coast, ran two marathons and has also taken part in the SmartMove Sleepout for the past three years.
We at SmartMove are incredibly proud of Paul and the progress he has made. We can't wait to see what he does with what is now looking like a very bright and happy future.