When Josh* came to Step by Step, his drug misuse and challenging behaviour hid his true potential. By providing Josh with a stable place to live and working closely with him, he proved himself to be a reliable and hard-working young man with a bright future ahead of him.

Josh became homeless after his long-term foster care placement broke down due to his refusal to stop using cannabis. We assessed him for a place in our Supported Lodgings accommodation and had an open and honest conversation about his drug misuse. It was the start of a good working relationship with Josh.

Through our matching process, we found a Host who would be understanding about Josh’s drug issues and in whom Josh would feel comfortable confiding. The placement got off to a good start, with Josh relaxing into a stable and supportive environment.

However, when Josh was made redundant from his job, he started upon a downward trajectory, becoming involved in very negative peer influence and experimenting with dangerous drugs. Josh’s Step by Step Support Worker signed him up with a local drugs service but he did not really engage. It was only when our Support Worker, with assistance from the Host, offered drugs education and harm reduction advice, that Josh started to take the support onboard.

Josh settled down and found himself a full-time job at a local warehouse. He proved to be a hard-working and reliable employee, despite the unsociable hours doing shift work. His Host supported his transition into adulthood, giving Josh the responsibility for his rent payments and showing him how to complete domestic chores and improve his life skills.

Eventually, Josh felt ready to move on from Supported Lodgings and moved in with his girlfriend at her parent’s house. He is very much part of the family and enjoying life living in the countryside.

What would have become of Josh if his drug issues had not been addressed? What potential would have been wasted?

* Name changed to respect privacy

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