“All I can say about this place is that it saves people’s lives – transforms them,” says Paul, a former Chandos House resident.
But the future of Bristol’s only residential addiction centre is precarious in the wake of Government funding cuts and help is desperately needed.
Chandos House is the last remaining service of its kind in the city, working to help men who have reached rock bottom, by getting them off the streets and into rehab, so they can begin to turn their lives around.
The holistic approach of therapeutic treatments, full bed and board, nutritious meals, community and compassion gets proven results, but the cost of helping just one person is £4,000 and the community interest company is now reliant on donations to keep its vital service running.
Chandos House needs help to keep its vital service running.
This comes at a time when Bristol’s homelessness crisis is growing, the number of rough sleepers is on the rise and 25 per cent of the UK’s rehab centres have been forced to close since 2008.
“We are attempting to fill not just a gap, but a gaping hole in services for this part of the population,” said a Chandos House spokesperson.
“The men who make it through our doors are incredibly fortunate, sadly an increasing number of men remain homeless and without support. Our service literally saves lives and repairs communities.
Men at Chandos leave a part of, not apart from a community. This is something many have never experienced.”
Currently, every single one of the residents at Chandos has experienced homelessness, many have experienced war, imprisonment and sexual abuse and are receiving treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Chandos House offers therapy through art to help residents overcome trauma.
Chandos House offers therapy through art to help residents overcome trauma
“I’d be dead if it weren’t for Chandos,” says former resident, Dan.
“My life changed on March 21, 2016, although I didn’t realise it at the time. Since then, I have made new friends and reconnected with friends I’d lost. I have a relationship with my family that is the strongest it has been in my adult life.
“I have opportunities now that I never thought possible. Chandos house gave me my life back and it keeps on giving and I am proud to be part of it.”
The charity is working not only to help individuals, but also reduce drug-related crime across the city. It has the backing of Avon and Somerset police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens, who says she “takes solace in the fact Chandos exists”.
Chandos House recently launched its first ever crowdfunding appeal and has raised more than £7,000 of the £11,700 target, but still desperately needs more help to provide treatment for one Bristol-based homeless man this Christmas. For more information or to donate to help give someone a fresh start, visit: www.localgiving.org/appeal/chandoschristmas/