Robert visits each week to run clay modelling workshops
Back in the winter of 2012 Robert was living on the streets while holding down a job as a night manager in a city motel.
Even though he was employed he had lost his home due to his gambling addiction. He recognised that gambling was destroying his life and made the decision to quit his job due to the daily exposure to gambling facilities in the hotel environment.
One cold night after two weeks of being both homeless and jobless he offered up a desperate prayer for help and almost immediately a woman approached him and told him he could find a bed that night at Bethlehem House. Robert says that the fifteen minute walk from the city centre to Bethlehem House took him ninety minutes because with each step he struggled with his pride.
Robert spent twelve months living at Bethlehem House and then a further 6 months at Hallam House before moving on to independent living. Robert completed a 12 step program to overcome his gambling addiction and has not gambled for the past five years. Robert continues to struggle with long term health problems resulting from his time spent living on the streets and this prevents him from working in paid full time employment. However Robert stays very active giving back to the services that supported him when he was at his lowest.
He devotes around 25 hours each week helping out with Loui’s Van and speaks at schools about his experiences with gambling and homelessness. Robert has re-entered Bethlehem House in a different capacity, visiting us each week to run clay modelling workshops with our current residents. Robert is a highly valued volunteer due to the unique understanding and encouragement he brings to the men here at Bethlehem House.