Simion came to England from Moldova over 20 years ago. After travelling to London to visit his sister he decided he wanted to remain here and started work as a labourer on building sites. Simion’s wife and two children also moved with him from Moldova, however, 14 years ago Simion split up with his wife after their relationship ended. At this point Simion began to drink and little by little turned into a heavy drinker.
“The drink took me down and I kept losing one job after another because of it. I kept losing accommodation and had no money to pay for it. In 2014 I ended up on the streets.”
Simion was struggling with loneliness, insecurity and being unwanted – he felt there was no future, just that day. He drank alcohol in order to numb all of his emotions and get through each day. An outreach team from IDAS found Simion drinking on a bench and gave Simion hope.
“They helped me to understand that drinking is not everything in this life.”
Simion was then referred to Western Lodge where he was able to stop drinking and took the 12 week course at Battersea Alcohol Services.
“It is a dry house, providing the motivation to stay sober whilst at the same time the experience of the staff also allows risks to be mitigated effectively.
It is accommodation with people who are there to look after you. I am still here in Western Lodge and I am still not drinking because I have good support, a good keyworker, a good manager and good housemates.”
Simion looks forward to staying sober and taking up more volunteering opportunities, whilst exploring education – he is working towards completing a vulnerable people’s course with Spires. Eventually he wishes to secure his own accommodation, and ultimately begin a new life.