man standing in front of trees

Mark's story

Mark found himself homeless aged just 17. 

His mother struggled with mental health issues and this caused a lot of problems at home. When these difficulties eventually became too much, Mark felt he had no choice but to leave.

“Could I cope on my own?”

Mark approached the Council for help and they placed him with Community Campus, a project funded by LandAid that offers housing services for young homeless people.

Campus offered him a place in a shared house. Mark accepted, but was hesitant. He recalls:

“I was apprehensive… I had never lived without parental supervision. Could I cope on my own?”

Mark was wary of his new housemate at first, but with the help of a support worker, they became friends and managed the household well. His confidence grew and he later moved into his own property with Campus:

“I had full control and responsibility for everything – paying the rent, water rates gas and electric, cleaning the property”.

This was a challenge initially, and there were times that Mark struggled to manage his money. However, with the help of his support worker, he got his life back on track. After a year, Mark was ready for full independence and applied for housing with the local housing association. He has lived in his own property now for over 7 years.

“I’m hoping I can provide an inspiration…”

Mark's new independence helped his relationship with his mother. He now plays a leading role in looking after her, acting as her advocate in meetings with social services and mental health services.

The support that Mark received from Campus made such a difference to his life that he decided to apply for a trainee support worker post. He said:

“It’s not easy but as a former tenant I can relate to the young people and the experiences they’ve gone through. I’m hoping I can provide an inspiration to them”.

Mark is now employed as a support worker and is helping other homeless young people build a more secure, independent life of their own.

*Mark's name has been changed and a model was used in the photo to protect his anonymity.