Let’s celebrate the first weekend that our boys are in their house, food in their bellies and padlocks on their doors. This time last week they survived in fear; seeing the police often ended in huge injuries and excruciating pain; their want to live was weighed heavily in fear and desperation. They were hated, feared and attacked.

Five short days later things are changing. They no longer stand out in a community. They are clean; they have clothes and their hair is neat. Their thin skeletons are beginning to add meat and their hollow cheeks filling out. People don’t cross the road when they meet them; they no longer look at them with hatred with their own fear dancing in the faces of a desperate being. They are accepting and kinder.

And yet very little has changed about our boys except their external appearance. They are still haunted by the past that scream fear into their daily existence. They still crave the drugs that kept hunger and hurt a dull ache, rather than a tornedo of pain and desperation.

Their journey is starting slowly slowly. They meet our Community Connection Team daily and this essential relation building experience is so therapeutic and so needed. It will help them know that they are enough. It isn’t how people see them that will make lasting change but how they learn to see themselves.

We choose kindness as our weapon of choice in the battle against what has been done to these remarkable young men. We choose to walk alongside them until they are able to walk alone.