Leonne lived in the same house for 20 years, but her drinking started escalating. At her lowest point, she was caught drink-driving twice and went to prison for 35 days – leaving her teenage daughter.
On release, Leonne’s drinking got worse as she felt shame on her family and she soon got very ill. Having a criminal record and an issue with substances meant Leonne needed support.
In crisis, she started to go to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) for six weeks before undertaking an intense detox; she was ready to change.
When Leonne came out of hospital she was determined to stay sober and, with the help of The Wallich and probation, she has.
“One day, I found a full bottle of vodka. I had a full on 15-minute conversation with that bottle of vodka about how I held the power. I then tipped it down the sink.”
After getting her strength back, Leonne worked with The Wallich’s Building Opportunities Skills and Success (BOSS) project and the Working In Sustainable Employment (WISE) project; turning her experiences into a positive thing and tackling the barrier of her criminal record.
She completed employability and confidence building workshops and undertook a work placement.
As part of her work experience in two of The Wallich’s projects, Leonne discovered that she wanted to work with younger people in the future and pass on her experiences.
Leonne now has a job with The Wallich, working as a support worker in a young people’s project. She is one of the 19.5% of people who experienced homelessness but now work for the organisation.
She has also been sober for 20 months.