Jordan Jarvill, 27, was living with his partner in Worksop with a baby on the way when substance misuse problems escalated him into a life of crime, prison and homelessness.
Now, after he received crucial support from the Nottinghamshire YMCA, Jordan is working towards re-joining family life.
Getting clean was the first step, Jordan said: “Originally from Gainsborough, I moved to Worksop to live with my partner, but my drinking and drug use grew out of control.
“I began heavily drinking alcohol when I was 16. Over the years, I’ve given my mum and dad no end of trouble, but I’m sorting things out and now I look back and think – why could I have not made these positive life changes sooner? Getting drunk, taking cocaine and burning through money got me into debt. Things came to a head this year when I made threats to kill someone while armed with a knife.
“Serving a prison sentence was a turning point and I decided to stop taking drugs completely. You’re supposed to wean yourself off drug or alcohol reliance, but I detoxed so quickly that I was found half-dead in the prison cell and they had to call the paramedics.”
Jordan was released from prison on August 30, but the complexity of his life situation left him homeless.
He added: “It was hard, I ended up homeless for around a week – sleeping under bridges in Worksop and then on my mates’ sofas, but they have children and it wasn’t fair on them for me to stay there too long.
”Homelessness felt like the only option when I left prison as moving back in with my partner would have meant my children being put on a protection plan because of my recent criminal record. My kids mean the world to me and I would rather be on the streets than put them in that position.
“The local council couldn’t help me because I’m from Gainsborough, but moving away from Worksop would mean leaving my partner and new baby behind. I just couldn’t leave my family.”
During this time, Jordan was referred by the council to Nottinghamshire YMCA for support.
The charity’s lead tenancy support officer for Worksop, David Southgate, helped Jordan complete the paperwork needed to begin living at the YMCA’s supported accommodation.
Jordan added: “I badly wanted to prove to everyone that I could do well for myself and my family. Since prison and living at the YMCA I’ve stayed clean of alcohol and drugs.
“This success has also meant I get to see my children and family more, and social services are now looking to allow me to move back in with my partner. Having the worry of social services hanging over my head made me paranoid, but I’ve proved them wrong by attending all my appointments and working through the steps I need in order to be reunited with my partner and baby.
“Without YMCA I would probably be dead – six feet under. Whatever I needed to get myself moving forward, David Southgate and the team supported me.”
Jordan is now spending three nights each week living with his family again, with a goal to build up to living with his loved ones full-time.
Jordan said: “If you’ve got children, you don’t want your kids growing up thinking ‘my daddy is a drinker’, or worse, ‘my daddy chose drugs over me’ – I don’t want my children looking at me and believing that is true.
“The YMCA team have been really great throughout my journey. I’m not even living at the central hostel anymore and yet the second I walk through the door the team gave me free sandwiches and a warm welcome.”
David Southgate, said: “Jordan is clearly a devoted father whose engagement with our services and hard work to become a role model for his children has really paid off. Being released from prison or any institution can be an incredibly daunting experience, but to immediately face homelessness and the prospect of losing contact with your child is unthinkable.
“When Jordan first came to us, it seemed his world was on the floor, and I’m so proud of the fantastic progress he has made towards regaining independent living for himself and his family. We just want people to know that Nottinghamshire YMCA is here not only to provide a roof over a person’s head, but to offer the key worker support needed for them to take each step towards reclaiming their independence.
“Jordan is a fantastic example of the positive outcomes that can be built when you reach out for support and believe in yourself.”