Home > Politics & social justice > For addicts in Cardiff, Dyfrig House offers shelter and hope

For addicts in Cardiff, Dyfrig House offers shelter and hope

Substance abuse and homelessness are getting worse in Cardiff. For one sober hostel, patience and empathy are the only viable solutions.

A longtime Dyfrig resident and mentor relaxes in the day room. He was the only resident who agreed to be photographed.

As Cardiff’s addiction epidemic worsens, a sober hostel in Grangetown seeks to help those struggling with substance abuse.

For the past 18 years, Dyfrig House has provided a sober living facility where people suffering from the disease of addiction can attempt to establish a better life.  

Billiards serves as one of many popular diversions for sober residents.

With 40 to 50 percent of drug addicts relapsing after treatment, Dyfrig House and its residents face an uphill battle.  However, for Anthony Beer, one of Dyfrig’s project workers, empathy is a powerful weapon.  

A room left untouched since its previous resident returned to prison. It will be kept open for them when they are released.

This empathetic approach has resulted in some dynamic tactics when dealing with residents, such as allowing a severe alcoholic to drink an allotted amount in their room so withdrawals wouldn’t kill them or keeping a room open for a specific resident who recently returned to prison.  

The claustrophic, narrow hallways belie the rather spacious rooms behind these doors.

Treating troubled and frustrating residents with compassion and patience is part of a struggle Beer knows quite well.  “I had a problem with gambling for a good while,” Beer said, “so I know how tough it can be.”  

“People are people. Anyone can end up here, and when you realize that most everybody is one or two crises away from going down a path that leads here you want to treat them like people, not clients.”