My name is Ryan, and I’m 24 years old, originally from Lowestoft so not a million miles away from Ditchingham.
Before moving to the community just over a week ago, I was homeless, or rather sofa-surfing, around Great Yarmouth for seven months. I’ve been in and out of hostels since the age of 14 and surrounded by drugs and alcohol from a very young age, everyone I was associating with got into it. I started smoking weed aged 11; I was a ketamine addict at 14 before moving on to much harder drugs a bit later. It got to the point where I didn’t recognise myself, and I didn’t really see much of a future ahead. I was trying to stay sober but it was so difficult, as the only places I could crash were with people under the influence. I found myself drinking every day. I knew I needed to make a change so when the PPO informed me of Emmaus, I jumped at the chance to move in.
Before my interview, I remember feeling so nervous – I didn’t know what to expect, but the minute I arrived at the community I felt at ease. Now I’m living here, I’m just enjoying being busy. I like being on the vans and working at the Old Orchard Café.
I haven’t looked too far into the future, I’m just taking each day as it comes, but my main aim is to remain sober. I really don’t want to be around drugs again, I hate it and am lucky to be away from that lifestyle now. I’m glad I discovered Emmaus at this age, it’s nice here and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m hoping it will help me stay on the right track.