18 February 2014
Phoenix moved into the Esther Community on 10th February 2014; prior to this she had been sofa-surfing at a friend’s house. She said that the immediate perception was one of warmth and openness, which was contrary to what she had been expecting, as she had been led to believe that Esther was like a prison and run by nuns! Although initially apprehensive and rather scared, she said that she was immediately put at ease by the staff and also the housemates, when introduced to them.
Phoenix stated that Esther was completely different to the previous hostel she had lived in, which was cold and depressing. She was surprised at how clean and tidy the hostel was, but did find the rules rather institutional at first. After she had stayed here for a few days she began to understand the reason for them being put in place.
She wasn’t overwhelmed or surprised by the range of complex needs catered for at Esther as she had previously lived with people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. She openly admits to misusing drugs and alcohol herself and spends all her money on these substances.
Phoenix said that she doesn’t usually socialise with people unless she is ‘out of her head’ on drugs so wasn’t looking forward to being in such close proximity to fourteen other women. She is now gradually adapting and appreciates being able to use the quiet room for times when she wants to be alone.
When we asked Phoenix how we could best help her during her stay here, she said that she wants to access our support at Esther for help in recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and would also like to take part in our structured day programme. She specifically wants to take the drama and literacy classes as, ultimately, she would like to go to college to gain a qualification in film and video, while keeping her options open at present.
Phoenix feels comfortable and happy at Esther and has a positive view of the future knowing that she will be supported in every aspect of her life.