Crisis is one of Dry January's official charity partners for 2018.

In this blog, Dave shares his story of sleeping rough for four years and how he was able to realise his ambitions with the help of Crisis.

Dave slept rough for four years, and struggled with alcohol addiction. He says: "Being homeless is being invisible. You are invisible."

He came to Crisis after hearing that they offered free courses that could help him realise his ambitions.

"When I got in touch with Crisis I was already sober. I was involved with other charitable organisations and I made a lot of progress."

He has since taken part in a range of classes and activities which have boosted his skillset, and in turn, his confidence.

"Through Crisis, I have been doing drama workshops, and furniture restoration classes. We are making furniture out of pallets, which is really useful, and we can give the items to Crisis members when they move into properties. I've also been attending Maths, English, IT, plastering, tiling - trying a bit of everything really."

"The recovery process has made Dave realise that he wants to support other people too"

In addition to the classes equipping Dave with valuable, practical skills, he has noticed the improvement in his mental health, especially in terms of his self-esteem.

He says: "A lot of it has been more about my motivation and self-belief. Like drama really teaches you methods to cope with day-to-day life."

The recovery process has made Dave realise that he wants to support other people too, and he is now working towards his goal of becoming a social worker.

"I felt it was a job I wanted to get into as it helps others. So my tutor at Crisis is helping me gain the Maths and English qualifications I need to get on to an access course at university, and ultimately achieve my dream career.

This would never have been achieved without Crisis. The support from my tutor motivated me to believe that I could do it."

"...we need to become people who take more care of our own communities."

As Dave continues his journey out of homelessness, he is passionate in believing that it is a problem that should and can be ended.

He says: "The biggest difference between before I came to Crisis and now, is my personal development. But also an understanding of social responsibility; we need to become people who take more care of our own communities."

"I know more now about the different aspects required to end homelessness, and I think it can be done."

Crisis is a national charity who provide services for homeless people and campaign for social changes needed to solve homelessness. Alcohol can be a factor in a person's spiral to homelessness and levels of drug and alcohol abuse are relatively high amongst the homeless population. Two thirds of homeless people cite alcohol or drug use as a reason for becoming homeless and those who are homeless may also turn to drugs or alcohol for solace. Dry January is a great way to raise awareness of these issues as well as raise funds to help end homelessness. To visit their website and learn more about Crisis' mission and works, click here.

When you sign up for Dry January you can choose to fundraise or donate what you save from not drinking to one of our partner charities. In doing so, you will be supporting great charities like Crisis. Visit our fundraising page to learn more.