Meet Brian: From staying in B&Bs to living in his own flat

published on 16 Oct 2020

"I knew the Salvation Army cared about me but the kindness and generosity they have shown me has been amazing."

When Brian Newlands left care, he found himself in and out of B&Bs and struggling with addiction issues. At the age of 18 he was referred to the Salvation Army’s Inverness Resettlement Project for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

At that time Brian admits he was using more and more drugs but says his support worker Tracey and the specialist staff team at the project helped him tackle his addiction.

Brian Newlands sits on a bench
Former homeless man Brian Newlands now lives in his own flat with his girlfriend after help from The Salvation Army.

Now settled and living with his girlfriend, Brian is thankful for the Salvation Army in putting his life on track.

The 19-year-old says: “After living in care I ended up at a residential centre and living in B&Bs. It wasn’t the best environment and I ended up using drugs.

“I was offered a place through the Salvation Army resettlement project. At first I dreaded the support workers coming to see me. I was worried they would judge me and tell me what I was doing wrong.

I came to the Salvation Army just before Christmas. That time of year can be really difficult, but I was given presents and food for myself and my family.
Brian Newlands

“I got off to a bad start and I’m sure they must’ve wanted nothing to do with me. I had been taking a lot of drugs and was in debt. But Tracey and the team have been great with me and continue to be there when I need them. I managed to pay off my debts and have almost quit drugs completely. That’s down to having the support of the Salvation Army.

“They continue to help me with groceries and cleaning products – and encourage me to keep my flat clean.

“They also help me budget my money, while my timekeeping has improved. I now have a lot more motivation to keep on top of things – and I’m healthier as well.

“I came to the Salvation Army just before Christmas. That time of year can be really difficult, but I was given presents and food for myself and my family. I was also invited to Christmas lunch with staff and other service users. I knew the Salvation Army cared about me but the kindness and generosity they have shown me has been amazing.

With it being my first Christmas in my own flat I didn’t get around to putting up a tree. But I’ll get one this year though because it feels like home now.
Brian Newlands

“With it being my first Christmas in my own flat I didn’t get around to putting up a tree. But I’ll get one this year though because it feels like home now.

“I have a girlfriend now and things are settled and positive. I’m not working at the moment but am looking to get a job through a local scheme for 18 to 24-year-olds so that’s exciting.”