Street Connect aims to help people break free and stay free from life controlling issues. Many people end up trapped in addiction because they have turned to drink and drugs to cope with trauma in their lives. Some end up homeless, some in prison - all are broken. Addiction breaks their connections to friends and family and to their community. This loneliness and rejection forms a vicious cycle driving them deeper into addiction.
Street Connect’s vision is to end addiction by restoring connection. As well as offering a bio-psycho-social and spiritual recovery programme, the charity offers people the chance to be part of a loving, supportive community – their local church. It is churches who reach out on the streets and offer a warm welcome in their drop-in sessions and, ultimately, they are the ones who will continue to encourage and support those in recovery in their local community long after people have completed their recovery programme with Street Connect. It is essential the charity works through local churches because each church is a lighthouse in their local community, a microcosm of people who know what it’s like to live there, aware of the challenges and the opportunities locally.
Street Connect offers training, a tested and established recovery programme, and ongoing support - inspired by people with lived experience of addiction.
Our grant is crucial for funding Street Connect’s three-year expansion programme, which aims to establish partnerships with many more churches across the UK, each of them opening a Street Connect Project. These new partnerships will allow the charity to have a base in the heart of each community, reaching out and transforming local communities one by one.
Street Connect aims to open five new projects in 2023, 10 in 2024, and 15 in 2025. The charity has already launched the first two projects – both in Glasgow – and has several other churches scheduled to open in September, with many more showing interest in working with Street Connect. The charity has also been approved by the Cinnamon Network as an official Cinnamon Project, opening-up the possibility of working with even more churches across the UK.
When those who are struggling witness the recovery of people they meet through Street Connect’s services, this demonstrates the possibility of change and often encourages them to begin the journey to recovery themselves. This ripple effect will continue to grow as the charity connects with increasing numbers of people.
Street Connect Project Worker, Martin, comments: “We have been running the outreach for our new partnership with Hope Church over the last few weeks. I have already been engaging with people in one-to-one support. We have been seeing a positive response from the community, with over 100 encounters in the streets. The need is there as the drug death rates remain high. I am looking forward to seeing the impact our services will have in the year ahead.”
Street Connect’s Partnership Coordinator, Stephen, adds: “We are delighted at the way the two newest Street Connect projects are having such an immediate impact in their local communities. Govan Free Church started a pilot recovery group in January with us and are now full partners.
“Local church partnerships are essential to reach those caught and trapped in lives of addiction, and we are praying and planning to introduce an additional three this year across Scotland, and 30 across the UK in the next three years.”