Blackwood’s Parkview project helping people with alcohol and drugs issues

Parkview is a Gwalia supported housing project in Blackwood which offers people who are homeless and who have suffered alcohol or drugs issues in their past the opportunity to find and keep a safe and stable place to live to support a healthier future.

The project, which opened two-and-a-half years ago and is staffed 24-hours-a-day, offers eight self-contained flats for adults from across Gwent, with tenancies available for up to a year.

All tenants will have successfully completed an alcohol or substance detoxification programme and will not be dependent on any substitute medication before they move in and so secure housing will be critical in ensuring they can sustain their recovery and make further positive changes in their life.

With support from a team of dedicated staff tenants have the opportunity to learn life style skills, access training and volunteering opportunities and become involved in positive community activities.

The project will then help tenants work with local housing organisations to find suitable and sustainable accommodation, reducing the risk of relapse.

Jonathan Rowlands, Project Leader at Parkview, said: “For many tenants who have lived at Parkview having a stable and safe place to stay has been a key part of their continued recovery from substance misuse.

“When someone is living with a drug or alcohol problem life can often become chaotic and isolating so keeping a tenancy can be difficult. They may get behind with payments, be unable to take care of the home properly or face eviction for any number of reasons. Homelessness can be an obstacle to sustaining recovery from substance misuse but at Parkview, tenants who have already made that decision to move on know this is a safe and stable place to stay.

“Here they have the time and space, the resources and the support to access other agencies within the community who can help them look at the issues which may have contributed to their substance misuse in the first place.

“We give them the opportunity through a key worker to learn life skills like cooking, paying bills and looking after a home as well as looking at other issues which may affect the stability of their future like health and relationship issues, education and training.

“Importantly they also get the chance to enjoy activities they might otherwise never experience like volunteering and sports – all of which integrate them back into their community, widen their circle of friends and help them to develop self esteem.

“Our main goal is always to ensure tenants can move forward from Parkview to secure permanent accommodation they are able to manage so they can move on in life from their substance misuse.”

The Parkview Project is funded by Supporting People and works in partnership with the Social Services Drug and Alcohol Team.

The project building is owned by Charter Housing Association and is managed by Gwalia. Gwalia is a not-for-profit organisation which provides social housing and over 110 care and support projects across Wales.