Chammack, 36, is one of many migrant workers from Poland to fall on hard times. He explains his descent into rough sleeping and how, with Framework’s help, he is rebuilding his life.
“I came to UK in 2007 for a new life. I arrived on a Sunday, registered with an employment agency on the Monday and began work on the Tuesday. To begin with everything was good but then things started going wrong. I had always liked a drink but it started to get worse. I was unhappy at work and I was drinking to forget it. I started to argue with my wife all the time and eventually things got so bad I moved out and walked away.
Some people think that God alone will get them off the streets but that is not true. I believe that God gave me a chance and that chance for me was Framework.
“I stayed with friends for a while but they lost patience with me. I ended up sleeping rough for the first time in April 2011. First I was sleeping in a squat, then behind a church on Alfreton Road. When I wasn’t there I was sleeping on park benches or just in the street. It was cold, dangerous and terrible. I was crying all the time because of the situation I found myself in. I knew that I wanted to get back to work and to restart my relationship with my family but I couldn’t see how that was going to happen.”
Chammack began staying at Nottingham’s Emanuel House day centre, where he first met Framework’s Polish-born street outreach worker Tomasz Ryba. With Tomasz’s help he was awarded a place at Framework’s Michael Varnam House alcohol treatment and detoxification centre in February 2012. His progress in the months since has been remarkable. He has now stopped drinking, is beginning to rebuild his relationship with his family, and is looking forward to a brighter future.
He added: “I was drinking so much that I really can’t remember anything about my first contact with Framework, but after my treatment at Michael Varnam House I realised that I had a simple choice: I could keep on drinking or I could get my life back. I realised I could not do both and was determined to stop drinking. People didn’t think I could do it (they even took bets that I would not do it) but I did. Now people come to me for advice!
“I am a strong believer in God. Some people think that God alone will get them off the streets but that is not true. I believe that God gave me a chance and that chance for me was Framework.
“I am so much happier now. I am still living at Michael Varnam House but I will soon be moving into my own flat. I am now looking after my children in the day at my wife’s house while we work on things between us. Thanks to Framework I now feel ready to live on my own and ready to go back to work."