Mark became homeless in his late 30s after a family breakdown coincided with losing his job. He went to Poland in search of construction work but eventually returned to the UK in 2010 where he again found himself on the streets.
The years 2010-14 were chaotic, spending time at the Julian House night shelter, on the streets, and time in and out of prison. This was a particularly challenging period for Mark: “after you’ve been to prison once it doesn’t hurt. If anything it is better than being on the streets… it wasn’t a deterrent”.
Contact with Genesis
Mark first came across Genesis some while ago through our Lifeline Centre.“The thing you notice with Genesis is they listen. People don’t have a hidden agenda, they are only there to help”.
The process of adjusting from the streets to housing can be more difficult than people might expect, with new responsibilities like paying for gas and electricity bills, as well as feeling isolated from previous support networks. Genesis aims to help people in their transition from crisis to independence by providing continued support.
Genesis helped Mark move out of the night shelter and into social housing. They helped with furniture, medicals, a driving licence application, as well as food and access to the Bath Foodbank.
Having become more settled in his new residence, Mark’s priority is to find employment to become self-sufficient. He is currently waiting for his driving licence from the DVLA, at which point he will be able to travel to various construction jobs.
Mark also hopes to get involved with Genesis through volunteering at the Lifeline Centre. Indeed, he thinks his experiences can serve as a good example to others who are in difficult situations, offering hope for the future. He says his “streetwise” mindset helps build relationships and understanding with people who find themselves on the streets.
It is fantastic that Mark wants to get involved in volunteering, as his story can provide hope and inspiration to others, acting as a positive role model.
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