Stepping Stones was a supported housing project which we ran very successfully. It helped a significant number of men who needed intensive support to remain in recovery from addiction. It was rewarding to see many make real progress towards rebuilding their lives.
As ever in working with people in addiction there were frustrations and setbacks, disappointments and pain. At our high point we were accommodating 8 men, 3 in a house and 5 in two flats.
Our reasons for closing down the project were multiple.
- Firstly financial. We were needing to raise around £20,000 per year to supplement benefits.
- Secondly emotional. With just one worker the emotional and physical demands were pretty intense.
- Thirdly “double or quits”. It felt that we either had to double our capacity and thus employ a second worker to help carry the strain, or stop altogether.
- Fourthly administrative. The office support took up a lot of time.
- Lastly we had the sense that God wants us to concentrate on short term support of those in need and leave the longer term support and help to others such as Launchpad and Hope into Action.