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Winter can be a darker time for people who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness.

One of our former residents of Bethany Christian Centre, Alex, shared his journey of finding light while with us, having previously suffered deep trauma;

“I grew up in a good family, but you didn’t get the attention that you really wanted… I can never mind my dad or my mum saying they love me or anything like that… When I was 7 or 8, a neighbour abused me. It went on for quite a while and I was so messed up with it. But, what do you tell your family?

I felt fear and guilt and shame all the time… I was depressed.

I remember in high school when the drugs started. Sniffing anything just seemed to keep the pain away. Eventually I got hooked up with heroin, crack cocaine, everything… The majority of my life I’ve been on some sort of drug or something. At some points not, but others slipping back into the old ways. My family were involved in drugs too. I lost my niece and two nephews, and my brother…

He was visiting me in Edinburgh and I got up one morning to find him dead. I just fell to my knees and sobbed… my heart was like, Lord, please, no.

That’s what stunned me. I needed to change.

I tried a couple of programmes but I couldn’t do it, it didn’t last. I wasn’t willing to deal with the pain and hurt in my past. It was too difficult. I phoned Bethany Christian Trust and was like, “I need a room.” The lady phoned back the next day with an offer of a place in the Centre, and we planned support to detox.

It was terrible coming off. A nightmare.

But, this time, I realised I couldn’t do everything on my own. With the help of the counsellor at Bethany Christian Centre I was able to speak about the abuse I’d experienced and, through God’s grace start to deal with things.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life; it was the best thing I’ve done in my life. And at the end… the peace and the joy, it was amazing. I’m completely new.”

Alex is now living in his own home, addiction free and proactively engaged in the community. Thanks to your vital giving, many individuals like Alex are being supported by Bethany through accommodation, one-to-one support and recovery group sessions. But there are many others facing a cold, dark and lonely winter right now.

Alex, a man wearing a biker's jacket, standing smiling against a neutral background office environment.
Alex sharing his story at the Bethany offices in Edinburgh.

By donating to our winter appeal today you can help someone, like Alex, start their journey towards peace and joy, and out of homelessness.

Give peace and joy this Christmas.

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