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Watch > Episode > Gary Davidge - How To Tackle Addiction, Mental Health & Homelessness

Gary Davidge - How To Tackle Addiction, Mental Health & Homelessness


Spitalfields Crypt Trust

Gary Davidge began managing Spitalfields Crypt Trust’s homeless drop-in centre in 2010. Since then Gary has introduced new projects to the drop-in including a pre-abstinence group, art and IT classes. Previously he worked as a carpenter and with refugees in Greece.

Thanksgiving Dinner in London

Homelessness is something that many of us see in cities all the time, yet most of us don’t really understand it. This is why I took my entire team at London Real down to a drop-in homeless centre to serve over 100 homeless people Thanksgiving Dinner.

When we were down there helping out I met Gary Davidge. The manager of a homeless drop-in centre of the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, in Shoreditch, London, Gary is on the ground with these folks. He gets to know their personal lives, and he taught me so much about what actually goes on in the streets.

Helping the homeless

Every day Gary works hands-on helping the homeless community, serving some 6,000 meals to over 500 people last year. In the past decade he has introduced pre-abstinence groups and education programmes, and in the next five years plans to launch specific programs for women and addiction recovery.

My team learned an incredible amount about how complex the homelessness issue is, and hopefully, this episode will give you insight on how you can be effective and help.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Losing his cousins to addiction
  • Heroin, crack, and crystal meth
  • Addiction rates, psychosis, and youth homelessness
  • Portuguese drug laws, politics, and hostels
  • Abstinence, the Acorn House, and recovery
  • Christianity, mental health, and triathlons
  • The Great North Swim and his children


00:00 | Trailer.
02:58 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:42 | Brian’s introduction.
05:32 | The best way to change homelessness.
08:00 | Changing thoughts and feelings about the lives of homeless people;
10:59 | Not just offering food and drink but trying to put lives together.
14:38 | Ask yourself, if I had had that upbringing would I have thrived, or become an addict.
18:27 | One fifth of drug addicts are on the streets, four fifths are white collar workers in the City.
24:26 | Why we marginalise homeless people.
26:38 | The synthetic drugs that cause mental problems.
27:55 | Which comes first, drug use or homelessness?
30:56 | There is hope, there is the light.
36:56 | Why women are a massive growing percentage of the homeless, which brings its own problem.
39:43 | Recent legislation has led to an increase in young people on the streets.
42:13 | Gary’s thoughts on drug dealers.
43:42 | Should we legalise drugs?
47:36 | Why more people are dying on the streets.
49:23 | Synthetics and very high potency opioids are a growing problem in the UK.
50:46 | Where there needs to be more work done to prevent people landing up on the streets.
53:53 | What people should do when they see a homeless person asking for money.
55:58 | Recovery capital.
58:34 | the biggest issue in society today.
1:00:44 | How the Thanksgiving meal with Brian and the London Real team can be developed next year.
1:03:41 | Why and how Gary has worked with the homeless every day for nine years.
1:18:09 | To the homeless person watching the next step they can take.
1:20:54 | To the person watching who wants to get more involved.
1:23:16 | To those listening feeling negative, there is hope
1:24:14 | Brian’s summing up.


"Of the People, By the People, For the People"


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