theHaven 29

01505 872 099


01505 872 099






Richard's story


Growing up I saw domestic violence against my mother as my dad was an alcoholic. I felt as if no one gave me much attention and cared about me so from an early age I started to rebel in school. I noticed by being the class clown or cheeky with the teachers that it got me attention that I was craving. This then lead me to trying alcohol and drugs when I was 12 years old which then escalated into getting involved in gangs, carrying knives and getting into trouble with the police.

For the next 15 years I became addicted to alcohol and drugs, I was in and out of prison and was suffering from mental health issues. I then ended up in a hostel where I was selling heroin and started smoking it myself. My life hit rock bottom and I was broken. I ended up back in jail in 2016 and by this point I did not care whether I lived or died. Once I got released from prison I was in a house and three men came in and nearly killed my as they tried to murder me. This was the final straw. I had two fractures in my skull, a broken nose, a broken eye socket and a broken jaw.

While I was recovering from the incident at my mum’s house, my gran came round one morning with an application form for The Haven. I was desperate to sort my life out and for the first time in years I felt hope as I realised I could get away to this Haven place and try and change my life around. I sent the application form away and got an interview and was accepted and four weeks later, in November 2016, I went into The Haven. I had no Christian background but straight away I felt the peace of Christ in the place. I did not know it was the peace of Christ at first but I realised there was something special about it.

God started to reveal himself to me through His word and prayer and after being in about six months or so I did the best thing I have ever done and that was I gave my life to Christ. Since then God has done amazing things in my life; I passed my driving test at the end of my programme, He restored my relationships to my family and my son and I now work full time at The Haven. I get to see men come into The Haven broken but then a few months later singing and giving praises to God and set free from the lifestyle that I once lived.

I met a woman from church last year and we are now married - 19th of September 2020. The grace and love of God strikes me every day. His goodness never ends. There is a bible verse which is Galatians 5:1 and it says, ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free’ and I am no longer addicted to drugs but I am free and it is all because of Jesus. Glory to His name







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