Mark's Story

Mark's Story

Homeless crisis families

“It was one of the most difficult and lonely experiences of my life….”

After experiencing homelessness as a child, Mark was horrified to find himself back in the same situation as a single parent with his two young sons.

“When I got custody of my two boys I had no where to go. My mam’s house was too crowded and I ran out of favors with friends. We eventually got put in a hotel. At first, living in a hotel was a bit of a novelty but it wore off really soon. It was one of the most difficult and lonely experiences of my life.

“The boys had to share a single bed and there was nothing in the room apart from a television and a wardrobe. Because we had no fridge or cooker, we had to eat a lot of take away food. I was so worried about their health. I knew it was bad for them.

“I didn’t want to uproot them from school, so every morning I woke them up at 6.30am and took two buses to get them to school on the other side of the city. I’m proud to say they never missed a day.

“I tried so hard to protect them from what was happening. I tried to make it fun; like a holiday. I didn’t want them to be affected by everything, the way I was when I was a kid.

“At Christmas I had to wrap their Santa presents in the hallway of the hotel so I could surprise them on Christmas morning. Because we had no space I could only buy them something small as we couldn’t keep bikes or anything like that…and sure they had no where to play with them anyway; we were living on the side of a motorway. I put up a small plug in Christmas tree in the room, but the hotel had a strict fire and safety regulations so I only kept it up for two days as I was afraid we would be kicked out.”

After seven months in the hotel, Mark was moved to an apartment near where his son’s go to school. With of the support of the Simon SLI Team, they are getting the support and assistance to get their lives back together. Mark’s sons now share a room in their own home, not a single bed in a hotel.

“When I arrived at the hotel, there were families who had been there for much longer than me and they were still there when I left. I was really lucky. Simon are helping me to get back into a course and I can’t wait to get back to work.”

A gift of whatever you can afford today will help move more people like Mark and his children out of homelessness. 

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