My name is Laura and I’m 29 years old. I stayed in the Night shelter as a resident in January 2016. I was made homeless when my boyfriend kicked me out of our flat In Cardiff because he found me taking crack cocaine and smoking heroin. I was also drinking heavily so he didn’t want to know me anymore. I went back to my Mums in my home city of Newport but found this really hard as we didn’t get on. I went to the council and they placed me in Newport Night Shelter.
Now the Night shelter was somewhere for me to sleep and I was very thankful for my bed. Every night I would be waiting outside for the people to let me in. It was somewhere dry and warm where I could find safety as my only alternative was living on the streets or sofa surfing. The churches served warm food in the night and breakfast in the morning and supplied a blow-up bed. The best part of the Night shelter is that we got to see some amazing Churches. I felt love from the moment I walked in till the moment I left. In the day time when Night Shelter shut we could do whatever we wanted to do. This is where my drug and alcohol problem got so bad, I don’t know if I would still be living now or where I would be if it wasn’t for the Night Shelter team helping me.
One morning Marc /Renate one of these guys said is anybody interested in rehab? I totally ignored it and went to Church that morning. Low and behold the men from Teen Challenge rehab centre were there sharing their testimonies. Now, some of these men I know from the past from taking drugs, it was crazy seeing them praise the LORD and looking so happy.
This helped to encourage me to seek help to overcome my problems. I ran out of church and rang Marc/Renate and said I want to go to rehab. So, the next day or two Marc said “Come and fill out forms for teen challenge and we will wait for a reply”. I had my interview and was accepted for the programme. I waited 2/3 weeks and I was in Hope House. Without the team, Marc, Renate and all the volunteers I don’t know where I would be today. I am in Hope House and been clean for over a year. I have never laughed / cried so much in my life. this is the longest I’ve stayed off drugs and drink since the age of 13 years old. I’ve completed counselling work so I can find out the root of why I used drugs in the first place.
I hope the Night Shelter can stay open for longer as well as have more Churches involved so people like me can be reached and bring people to a place of safety (like Teen Challenge) so they can be helped and loved.
Thank you for reading this, it has been a pleasure to have told you a bit about me, and how my journey of recovery started.