“One of DHI’s many strengths is that it is so flexible and ‘can do’. It’s big enough to make a difference on a large scale, but small enough that it can move quickly in response to need.” Ken Littlewood, DHI supporter
AIM AND MISSION
DHI is a registered charity that runs innovative services to help socially excluded people who need a bit of extra help to live independently and turn their lives around. Rooted within DH’s services is the belief that the problems people face do not exist in a vacuum and that we need to take a holistic approach, supporting them on both an emotional and practical level.
We offer a range of specialist services in South Gloucestershire including:
Adult drug and alcohol treatment
Family and carers services
Community wellbeing services and social prescribing (in partnership with Southern Brooks)
Housing Provision – including private tenancies through Home Turf Lettings
Employment and skills support (West of England Works)
DHI help over 5000 people every year in the West of England. Our current priorities are:
Keep young people safe through education and early intervention
To improve mental health and wellbeing to enable people to thrive
Increasing access to affordable housing for disadvantaged or socially excluded people
Support clients through building strong community partnerships
DHI Vision Project – A programme of articles, podcasts and events marking DHI’s 20th anniversary:
Treatment Services – Jon’s Story
When I first came to DHI, I was on a court order, dependent on alcohol, had left my family home and I was having no contact with my children. Despite all that, I had no desire or intention to change my drinking and was so resistant that I even deliberately got myself removed from groups. I was still mandated to attend, so came to sessions with my keyworker and over time some of what she said began to sink in.
At my lowest point, I finally booked into a rehab and when I came out I walked straight into an AA meeting. That was 18 months ago and, far from being reluctant to come to DHI, I’m now coming by choice and helping to run a group for people preparing for detox. For me, DHI has been a parachute on my back; if I feel myself freefalling, I can pull that cord and know I’ve got a somewhere to go.
Family and Carers Services – Jenny’s Story
About ten years ago, my children had both flown the nest and I was enjoying a relaxing retirement. But that all changed when my daughter’s alcohol dependence engulfed her, and she moved back home. Of course, I supported her as much as I could, I cared for her and provided for all her needs. In effect though, I was enabling her. This in turn made my home a battleground where I felt constantly anxious, and I couldn’t sleep for worrying what would happen to her.
After her first appointment with DHI, she brought back a leaflet about DHI’s Families and Carers Service. I still remember the first group I attended. It was such a relief to know I wasn’t alone and there were other families who knew exactly what we were going through. I got counselling, support from others in similar situations and practical advice for how to set boundaries. This not only allowed me to survive this time, but I believe that those boundaries helped my daughter to finally get into recovery
Home Turf Lettings – Simon’s Story
At my lowest point, I felt like the saddest man in the world. My son had been taken from me, I was living an isolated life in a tent in the woods. I was drinking. I was using heroin. I was thinking seriously about taking my own life.
I spent two months in that desperate situation before trying to seek help. I stopped drinking and using heroin and tried to find accommodation but was turned away from everywhere. Luckily, I got in touch with DHI, who found me a place in a supported dry house, giving me a stable roof over my head and the help I needed to stay abstinent.
After a few months, I felt confident enough to move into a self-contained flat managed by Home Turf Lettings, where I still live now. I’ve regained my independence and I’m now working again in construction, but if I ever do need help, I know it’s there.
DHI’s not-for-profit social enterprise, was set up in response to the growing housing crisis; a lack of affordable housing being a key issue for many of its clients.