Steve is 54.  He is a chronic alcoholic and has been battling with addiction for most of his adult life.  Steve is an intelligent and well-spoken man, with a ‘gentle soul’, who went to a grammar school and achieved well academically.  He is also very creative and particularly enjoys working with wood.  Steve first came into contact with Shekinah many years ago when he had moved into a local hostel and starting getting involved with some of Shekinah’s activities.  It was observed by the staff that he is a deeply sensitive man who, because of issues in his childhood, struggles with relationships and day-to-day living. Despite Steve engaging with a variety of programmes at Shekinah, he has been resistant to wanting to dig too deeply into the roots of his pain, so any offers of formal counselling at Shekinah have always been politely refused by him.  Consequently, over the years Steve’s battle with alcohol has become increasingly worse.  Although the staff at Shekinah ‘set the scene’ for people to make changes in their lives, they believe that we all have a choice and, until we start to take responsibility and ownership for our own problems, then we cannot begin to move forward.  Steve managed to function with his alcohol use for many years, but unsurprisingly his health is now rapidly deteriorating.  Last Christmas, Steve was at risk of losing his tenancy and was unable to see to his basic needs.  The staff at Shekinah, supported him in negotiating with a variety of agencies, including his landlord, and physically assisted him with showering and other personal care.  He was encouraged to eat daily at the Drop-in Centre and the on-site medical team worked with the staff in supporting his health needs.  Although Steve may never move into full recovery, he is more stable now than he was a year ago.  The staff at Shekinah have not judged him or ‘forced’ him into making changes that he is not ready for; they have simply offered care, support and, most importantly, have flexibly worked with him at his own pace. The ‘there but for the grace of God go I..’ philosophy the Shekinah staff live by is evident in the way they work with people in distress who they encounter on a daily basis.  Shekinah’s recent Thought for the Day on Facebook stated ‘Be compassionate and support those who are less fortunate, because life has a way of turning the tide and one day you may be the one in need.’