Sleeping in a tent was a wake-up call – Michael’s Story

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Sleeping in a tent was a wake-up call – Michael’s Story

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Michael had been sleeping in a tent for three weeks, not aware of services available to him in Galway before he accessed COPE Galway’s Homeless Service.

He told us that his alcohol addiction is what led to this situation and that “sleeping in a tent was a big wake-up call.” The COPE Galway Day Centre referred Michael to the organisation’s “Towards Independence Project” at Bridge House.

Over a six-month stay at Bridge House, Michael addressed his issues with alcohol with support from addiction services and remains sober for almost two years now. Michael maintains, “Being helped to quit the drink helped me get my self-respect back”.

During this time, Michael also volunteered with our Community Catering service for a four-month period. “It helped to meet new people and gave me
some structure back in my life and got me thinking about work again,”he says about his volunteering experience.

Michael returned to education and completed QQI Level 4 and more recently QQI Level 5 Horticulture certificates. It was hard learning all the Latin names but that he really enjoyed it.

Through the course, others got to see I was really a hard worker. This helped me a lot personally and gave me back a lot of self-respect.

He has since returned to his own independent accommodation, and credits Bridge House with helping him prepare to move back into independent living and “learning to keep a home properly”.

Michael is now working on a Community Employment scheme.  He remains linked in with COPE Galway Resettlement support and meets his keyworker regularly.

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