‘It took me almost dying to make me realise’ – Henry speaks out about his homeless experience
PUBLISHED: 16:37 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:09 27 July 2017
Henry Redfern, aged 39, had a different experience of homelessness in his home town of Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire.
After a string of misfortune, Henry found himself living in his father’s garage.
He said: “It all started several years ago when I lost my job as a groundworker.
“As I had no money coming in I was not able to pay maintenance to my ex and she stopped me from seeing my daughter, who was four at the time.
“I went out on a bender and tried every drug imaginable and then things began to spiral.”
Things went from bad to worse for Henry when he started heroin to help him ‘kill the day’.
He said: “On New Year’s in 2014, I had overdosed for the third time in two weeks and I had to be rushed to hospital. I had technically died twice.
“It took me almost dying to make me realise this is not how I wanted to live my life.
“It was horrendous towards the end of it. I was not allowed to see my daughter and my mum was not speaking to me and my brothers had disowned me and my dad was in Thailand. I had no-one.
“I was placed on a detox but I battled for nine months to get funding for treatment and moved to Weston.
“I made it through treatment and have now been clean for two years. I work for a friend doing building work and painting and decorating as well as volunteering at STG and Addaction.
“You feel so much better when you are clean and sober.”