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Joseph (not his real name) started using HOPE’s Day Service’s in the summer of 2015. Usually he would come in for a shower, but nothing else. He didn’t really interact with staff or other service users.
As the days went by he began occasionally to speak to staff, who suggested that he may wish to seek a bed with us – but his answer was always “no thank you”. Joseph is not very talkative and did not feel comfortable discussing his own circumstances but, as the days turned to weeks, he began to open up and would stay for an occasional chat with staff, although he never really mixed with other clients of the Day Service.
It became apparent that Joseph, who is in his late 30’s, was living in a tent in Worksop town. He had no cooking or washing facilities, and had only heard of HOPE through word-of-mouth.
We encouraged him to bring his washing, which he started to do regularly. We offered him meals which, we explained were often donated by local businesses – he began to join us for meals, which became a regular Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday event. On other days, we would give him a food parcel that wouldn’t need cooking, so he had something to eat in his tent.
As summer moved through autumn and then to winter, the weather started to get colder and wetter. Again we asked him whether he would consider a bed with us but, he still declined.
As the end of December approached, we explained what happens at HOPE, how we invite all with nowhere to live to join us for Christmas dinner. Once again, Joseph declined our offer, although he thanked us greatly.
As we got into January, Joseph explained in his infrequent chats with staff that he was actively seeking a job. And at the beginning of February, he was delighted to explain that he had secured employment with a local building manufacturing company, he was very positive and happy.
His role is extremely heavy and very dirty, so Joseph came into HOPE each day after work, for a shower and an occasional meal.
On Thursday 18th February, Joseph came in for his usual shower, but for the last time. He was extremely grateful for what we had been able to offer him, he told us that he had put down a deposit on a room in a shared house, and would be moving in the next day, therefore, he would no longer be needing our services. Such a positive ending to a difficult life story is one we like to share, with his blessing – Joseph has managed to turn his life around.
HOPE Community Services is a registered charity (1135452) based in Worksop, the organisation’s aim is to promote social inclusion, tackle disadvantage, homelessness and its causes, by providing help, advice and support for those in need. Services are available to all regardless of history or circumstances. Since it was formed in 1996, HOPE has provided over 50,000 beds for more than 10,000 people, and served 70,000 meals to those in crisis.
Hope Community Services are also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HopeCommunties or Twitter @HopesServices.
17 Queen Street, Worksop, Notts S80 2AN Worksop 531294