I’m a DJ you know!” declared Alex* the first time he came to the homeless drop-in. Keen to make an impression Alex masked his anxiety with bravado. The first few times he visited he was under the influence of alcohol.

It took time for the project staff to see the ‘real Alex’.

‘Once Alex realised we were here to help and never judge he started to trust us and got sober.’ Ashleigh, support worker at our drop-in explained.

‘A miracle happened and we met the real Alex, he’s an amazing young man with dreams and goals. He wants to get into the music business, its great hearing his plans’

Alex was just 16 he entered the support system. 16 is so young to face the challenges life has to offer alone. Few of us are ready to step away from the shelter and support of family and home.

Alex had no choice.

Alex’s mum was sectioned, struggling with her own health, and his grandparents were unable to support him. He was able to sofa surf at friends for a while until his welcome ran out. Alex found himself found himself homeless, sleeping on the streets. He found shelter in an abandoned factory. The next few years were a struggle.

Now in his early 20s Alex is turning his life around with the support of Oasis Community Housing.

“the best thing I ever done was to ring your door bell” .

At the drop-in he was able to access clean showers, fresh clothes and of course there is always a friendly face there to chat to.

Last week he designed a Christmas card alongside other men accessing the drop-in and supported housing. In the past meeting new people has been overwhelming due to his anxiety but he was soon covered in glitter and chatting away.

“I will sparkle tonight when I sleep under the stars” Alex beamed at the end of the session.

Thankfully he didn’t have to. Ashleigh and the team arranged emergency accommodation for the weekend and on Monday 31st October Alex was able to move into 58.7. Oasis Community Housing’s 24 hour staffed housing project in Gateshead.

The card Alex designed, the one that had him ‘sparkling’ is the design we’re sending out to our wonderful donors this Christmas. Because it’s thanks to you. Thanks to your support and care, that Alex was able to come along to a safe space and create it.

Thank you.