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J's story

J*, a 34 year old British man, had battled substance abuse for many years until things began to spiral downwards and he became homeless. During this extremely vulnerable stage of his life, J was targeted by drug dealers who forced him to sell drugs on their behalf, without pay.

J’s relationship with the dealers quickly changed from false promises of money to threats and coercion making it impossible for him to escape his situation.

This nightmare ended when police became involved and recognised that J was a victim and not a perpetrator of these crimes. He was referred to The Salvation Army for support and moved to another part of the country, far from where his traffickers were operating. He was supported in a Salvation Army safe house for victims of modern slavery.

Specialist support workers worked with J to link him to local services, helping him with his substance abuse problems, and arranged for him to access a programme at a local gym, which gave him a meaningful activity each day and improved his health. In the meantime they worked alongside J to help him decide what he wanted to do with his newfound freedom.

Salvation Army support workers also helped J to access the benefits he was entitled to and address his debt issues to give him a fresh start. J recently received a positive conclusive grounds decision where authorities concluded that there is definitive evidence that he was a victim of modern slavery.

J was helped to find and move into independent accommodation in the same area as the safe house so he is able to keep in touch with staff as he progresses along the road to full recovery. The Salvation Army’s Victim Care Fund and other charitable support helped J secure a deposit and basic furniture to start his new life in his own flat. He is connected to a range of ongoing support networks and continues to address his addiction. J’s self-esteem is growing and he hopes eventually to become fully free of these problems to enable him to be ready to support himself through work.

“I was in a very difficult part of my life and being taken advantage of. After discovering the NRM, The Salvation Army has given me all the support I needed to start again and I am very optimistic for my future.”