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David's Story

David's Story

David didn’t know he was homeless until he arrived home to his flat and was unable to open the front door. Having spent time in numerous hostels over the years and fearful of returning to substance dependency again, David began having suicidal thoughts and reached out for help, finally finding a place at one of Simon Community’s accommodation projects.

While at Simon Community, David’s goals were to get better and reconnect with his children, something his support workers were able to help him achieve, but assistance that he was reluctant to accept at first.

Speaking about his early days, David said:

“Being totally honest, I had no time for my support workers in the early days. My head was all over the place and it was ten times easier for me to cut them out of my life instead of accepting help. When you’re thinking like that, it’s tempting to slip back into rough sleeping on the streets, which I’ve done in the past. But, one night I got into a conversation and thought that I had been too quick to judge. And that’s not me. I try not to judge anyone. I’m more used to people looking down their noses at me but the staff at Simon Community treated me as equal in their eyes and it took me a while to understand what that meant.”

David believes that the environment played a big part in his early developments. Compared to other places that he had stayed at, the privacy of his own room at Simon Community helped reduce his worries and improve his mental health. Meanwhile, friendships with other residents at the hostel gave him a reason to leave his room and socialise each day. And having the Simon team on hand 24/7 allowed David to quickly get support when he was feeling low or feeling the urge to return to substance misuse.

David wants others to understand the impact Simon Community has had on his life; he remembers one night leaving the hostel and walking towards a bridge, ready to take his own life and, looking back, he saw his Support Worker running after him who had noticed a change in his demeanor and suspected something was off.

“I wanted to break the cycle I was on. It was either break the cycle or trust me, someone was going to find me dead to be honest. That was the plan. But it never worked out like that thanks to my Support Workers. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today. I’m sure of it. The staff made me see things in a way I wasn’t able to before.”

Every day, Simon Community staff support 636 people who are homeless or facing homelessness – individuals, families, and young people.

Northern Ireland is in the midst of a homelessness crisis, and it is because of people like you and your generosity that we have been able to sustain our vital, life changing, life-saving services. If you can, please help support our work by donating to our Spring Appeal.

Interested in joining our team? We’re recruiting now.

At Simon Community NI we respect everyone who comes to us for help. While this story is true, our client's identity has been changed to protect their privacy.