Jason lives in the Croes Ffin project.
Croes Ffin provides residential support to homeless people with substance misuse issues.
The aim of Croes Ffin is to give people the support they need to remain abstinent, reskill and find stable employment to allow them to move on into their own homes.
This is Jason’s story.
“I’m from Ebbw Vale originally and went through a bit of a rough patch, I split up with my wife and ended up homeless and on the street. I’ve been battling heroin addiction for about 20 years on and off and more so the last seven and eight years I’ve attended different detox facilities and programmes.
I don’t blame anyone for my addiction problems, I have an addictive personality anyway – in for a penny, in for a pound.
I’ve been a rough sleeper numerous times even before I came to Cardiff in 2010, and I slept in a tent for 15 months on Blaenavon Mountain. I was homeless in Cardiff for about seven weeks and saw the Wallich Cardiff Breakfast Run (Rough Sleeper Intervention Team).
I went through the homeless system for a period of years starting with the Nightshelter and ended up moving to Sir Julian Hodge hostel for 27 months. I moved in to Croes Ffin several weeks ago.
Mental health Issues
I have Psychothermia – a cross between ADHD and bipolar and suffer from PTSD which I’m currently seeking counselling for with Cardiff MIND. I tend to lock myself off and being around so many people didn’t help me with my detox because I was always stressed out.
This is an abstinence property and I’m going through a detox.
If you’re on a script you can be here but no substances are allowed on the property which helps, because if you’re surrounded by other users you can be more tempted to use. This is why I wanted to move and get out of the more central part of Cardiff and having moved here it’s been great, really quiet and one of the better moves I’ve made.
My support workers Emma and Chris are both great, they attend appointments with me and make sure my needs are met. They’re always there and do tend to go over and above.
Volunteering and Work
I’ve been volunteering with RSVP (Resident and Service Users Volunteering Programme) and I’ve just had a certificate for 100 hours. I’ve just put the hanging baskets up in the garden and I like doing a little bit when I can. I’ve done all the gardens at SJH doing the bedding boxes and all the fruit and veg and I had potatoes, strawberries and onions growing around the side.
You’ve got to have something to motivate you and it keeps your mind focused on other things and having too much times on your hand you tend to go back to what you know.
I would recommend RSVP for everyone, even if you don’t think you’ve got skills then you find you do and there are things to be gained. I would say to anyone to get involved.
I’m going through a life change, I’m about to turn 40 and want a better quality of life. My mind is set to change and I’m determined. I know what to expect having done it before with methadone detox and others – it’s not for the want of trying.
My goal is to keep abstinent, I want to win that fight that I’m in the middle of at the moment. Long term I would like to go back to work and it won’t be yet as I’m not well enough but I have goals to conquer that.
I have to work on myself to help me move forward which is why I want that change in my life and I’ve got to iron flaws out.
This is the right place for me at the moment, I’m settling here and I’m doing well to combat my addiction.
I wouldn’t be without The Wallich, they’ve been so beneficial for me and helped me out a lot with all different aspects of my personal issues such as detox and helping to make appointments and it’s been really, really great.”