Community Campus 87
We've given local charity Community Campus 87 £95,000 to tackle youth homelessness in Teesside
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.
Mark approached the council for help and they placed him with Community Campus 87, a project funded by LandAid that offers housing services for young people who are homeless.
Community 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 Community 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.
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 Community 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 young people who are homeless 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.