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Back in Milton Keynes, Mr X had worked successfully as a driver for a removal company. He had a partner, and three children; but lost his job, his home, and his family, having become hopelessly addicted to drugs.  Unable to shake the addiction, he moved to London, and then to Brighton: his life on a dangerous downward spiral. He came to Eastbourne, and arrived at Matthew 25 three years ago (referred by the Salvation Army). He stayed on the periphery: not really engaging with the Matthew 25 ‘community’ for some 18 months. Then he began responding to counselling and encouragement from Mission staff. He began to come off the drugs, and today he is completely freed from his addiction. Soon after becoming clean he became street homeless. The Mission referred him for a place in a local supported accommodation scheme (‘The Bridge’), and he soon benefitted from the ‘homely’ relationships he built there.  


With further help from the Mission, he started seeing his children again on a weekly basis. He began a new relationship and has since moved in with his partner (and her children), has custody of his  son, and his daughter is coming to live with him too. He is now in employment again.


“I've been coming to the Mission for more than a year now. I was isolated, depressed and honestly, I had just about given up. My social worker gave me a small list of places to try out, and one day I wandered in. I was grumpy and unhappy, but the people here have seen it all before and took it in stride. In spite of myself, and my fear of crowds, I came back the next week. And the next. I found that I was making excuses to come, rather than excuses to stay home. Over time it got easier, and it got so that I was looking forward to a few hours "Down the Mission". To my immense surprise I made friends. The key to the Mission, for me at least, is that it does not matter who you are, where you come from or whether you are deeply religious or not. All are welcome here. Leave your prejudice at the door and come in. I did.”[Note: He is now one of our valued volunteers!]


Mr Y came to Eastbourne over 3 years ago, with his partner, three children, and a fourth on the way.  When the baby boy was born, he was addicted to morphine and valium from the womb, because his mother was addicted. The baby needed life-saving care in hospital during the first 5 weeks of his life. The already rocky relationship broke down completely, after the birth of the child. A fraudulent benefit claim by the mother meant that all benefits stopped; and after a serious row, Mr Y left home: walking away with nothing. He was living in his car when he first came to Matthew 25. No job, no income, and desperately worried about the welfare of his two young boys: still with his ex-partner. The Mission worked closely with Mr Y for 3 years as he sought custody of his boys: accompanying him at meetings with Social Services and at Court appearances. The baby, born an addict, but now a healthy young child (and who regularly visits his Matthew 25 ‘family’ with his brother and his dad), celebrated his 3rd birthday in January 2017. Mr Y now has custody of the boys, lives in a nice flat, and is working. He still drives a car; but no longer sleeps in it! 

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