Some initial shots. I’ve been really affected by the stories of the guys that are talking to me. This is a critical time in their lives – literally a matter of life or death – and next to this, my project is completely insignificant.
Residents at the centre are not asked to stop smoking – with everything else they are going through, this would be a step too far for most people. There’s always someone on the balcony having a puff.
A was sent to live with relatives in London after falling into the drug scene in his native Portugal. Although he found a job and worked well for a while, he made some bad decisions and ended up on the streets. He got his life back on track after spending 18 months at the centre – he’s now helping to renovate one of the residential buildings. He’s standing in the room that he used to share with another man.
J came to the centre two weeks ago, leaving his partner and young family in Ireland. He’s very angry and depressed, and really not sure if the centre is the right place for him. But he feels he has nowhere else to go – and is determined to recover from his alcoholism. One tattoo is the birth date of his daughter, the other was a present from his sister on his 17th birthday.