Mark speaks about key changes housing has helped to bring about in his life including stability, self growth, finincial independence, money management skills, community connection and goals for the future. Mark mentions his neighbour and how he tried to replicate and reciprocate their positive and friendly approach to life, noting a shift in mindset from 'I' to 'we'. Mark also mentions how in the past he'd told people he wasn't a 'people person' which upon refelction was likelky due to the drug and alcol issues he was experiencing in his life. Mark speaks about how he helps others, specifically through the 12 step programme, but highlights how individual choice and actions are the ultimate deciding factor (he can guide people but not tell them what to do). Mark also looks ahead into the future and what goals and life events he has to look forward to.

and then I'll ask you the question. So can you tell me about the most significant change your accommodation has made in your life? Uh, it's giving me stability. Security, Uh, it's gave me by self growth. Is it? A showed me that I can actually pay bills on time

You know, I can open up accounts and I was very much a cash in hand person. I ventured into the realm of direct debits and things like that. It showed me that I've got potential to move on and do other things, and it's given me a bit of inclusion because I wanna where I live personally, I'm on a private city and I actually communicate with my neighbours now

Previously I didn't have communication with, and I meet people in my life, and it's it's a It's a massive, massive thing for me. You know that it's a growing up the way it did and living in the way it did previous to where I am now. It's it varies much

Uh, we can do things. No, I can do things, and that's how I try to let me live. It is, you know, be part of included in the community and not separate from it

What do you think has helped with you feeling part of of a community? Well, my neighbours, for a start. This is G, man who lives next to me. And he's a lovely, lovely man

And, you know, I try and emulate that box. You know, the I was very much of a I used to tell people that I didn't I'm not a people person. I don't like people where it was more

On the other hand, I actually wanted to be around people, but because I was in bad situations and abuse and drugs and drink, I told people that I didn't don't like, I don't like being around people. And, um, you can convince yourself of a different way of being even even though now you know, it's it's not, you know, probably people, you know. I'll try anything too fit and you know that can be detrimental

But being around people and trusting in people, I've you know, I've learned a lot about myself because now we can actually pick in boundaries around neighbours, other people in the community, you know that I see wandering around and a fine. Build up good memories. No

The bad boundaries that I used to put in before, you know, I had quite bad boundaries. I would let people do anything. Come and use my flat

However they wanted to. There is no that. My thoughts were I'm responsible for it

I'm responsible for who comes in it and what they do while they're in there. You know, everything is down to me. What? Only learn that through, You know, through the community that I built not just where I stay, but who I interact with

I've got good people in my life, like not the bad people. And what do you think was like the turning point that helped you get those more like positive role models in your life? I think it was going through treatment before me drug and alcohol addiction because I I didn't know anything about myself. I didn't know what I liked what I liked doing

I didn't know what clothes I liked. I didn't know what music I liked. I just I just I

I had no clue. It was It was like a check. It was you see, when you drink when you start That's the age you start growing and I was stuck at that age

I was stuck at night and I didn't know much about life in general. Pay bills, computers, you know? Yes, I had jobs, but every job I had, I either had to leave before we got sacked or I just up and left. And that's not how no atoms and that was an atom

But go through treatment and I've been through a whole process drug and alcohol addiction. I've been through treatment for that. I still do fellowship meetings

I've no got the confidence to go learn new things, you know, going to learn, competing because although I can do it, I'm terrible at it. But I've got the confidence, and that's part of the self self growth. When you're in your own place, you know you have opportunities to go out there and try new things

It don't matter if you fail at it. It's That's OK, you know, as long as you give it a go and try it. What I've been through a move on process as well, which was part of the drug and alcohol rehab

You then share the house with other peers because of his Google list. I had what they call a chain number, and the chain number allowed me access to temporary housing. But I had to make sure myself that I was ready for that process and I spent three years sharing a house with people

Sharing a house with people is quite difficult. It's, you know, because it's not like friends. It's got friends that you've grown up with and you've decided to go share a house

It's people from different walks of life and you know, you have your ups and downs, but because they're in the same addiction or a similar addiction to you, you learn how to work through things, and it it's all a process and it's all new things in teaching and things. You know, I've got to remain teachable in myself and to grow. And I think that helped me for what I then got me temporary accommodation

So you talk about having like, the kind of like a growth mindset you're looking at ways you can develop. Is there anything any I know we spoke before about volunteering that you do. Is there any ways that you help other people like grow and develop themselves

We have a thing through fellowship meetings. It's called the Steps, and I'm coming part way through mine, and I have never people that want me to take them through the first steps. I because I'm not totally complete with mine

I can only offer suggestions and advice, and I help them that through me volunteering, I'm always asked questions about addiction and stuff, and I can only tell them what I've done. I can't tell them what to do. I can't tell

This will work. You do that and you do this because different things work for different people. And I can only suggest things and tell them what what for me

And that's the only thing I can do. It's lead by an example and, yeah, a good example, you know, because they work in an establishment. We have guidelines

We have rules by government, and I've got to follow them as much as what the people living in there. So, you know, it's not just that. I'll tell you what to do because I'm volunteering there

This is what we all have to do. This is what we all have to vote for because, you know, we all have somebody higher than ups. And, you know, at the end of the day, it's government

And yeah, never mind your manager, but yet they above you. But there's government. There's police

There's, You know, there's only some of the above, you know, And I just tell him, like, you know, I'm not in charge, You're not in charge, So the people we have to be available to and everybody's kind of got the responsibility in themselves as well, I suppose. Yeah, yeah. Is is there any any other things you want to reflect on in terms of, like, the most significant changes that your accommodation need? I know

I'm trying to think back to what you said at the start. There was, like, three key points. Yeah, I'm I'm quite stable when you like

Previously I drug control sleeping on the top bench. Yeah, to sleep on somebody's sofa to have a flat, but not being responsible for that flat and not paying the rent and giving it up. You know, I've got security now anyway, because when I close the door, I'm safe

I'm safe. Got the things that I need within that flat. You know, it's very much of what I need and what I you know, I might I might want a 60 inch flat screen TV, but, you know, I don't need that

I've got a TV as long as I can see it and watch it. Yeah, no, I forgot a cooker. I forgot food there

That's that's me I don't need I don't actually need much in life, you know? I don't need lots of money. You know who's been for these? You know, my council tax paid by, you know, I just have to top up and, you know, I have the ability to do it now. Whereas before I would have run away from I think I think pain

I think you know the electricity. You know, I would be in the house drinking and using. And although it worked, I still didn't have electricity

But I do know it's it's one of my me O, CD, V. I've got to make sure there's electricity, You know, I've got to make sure all my bills have come out on the day that they're meant. And I checked that now with me bank

You know I didn't care what was in me bank. Once it was gone, it was gone. You know, it's I'm not, You know, I'm I'm a like that

It's, you know, having your own flat. It's a privilege. You know, I'm quite a spiritual person nowadays, and, you know, I find it less

It's, you know, because not a lot of people have, um, for me, it's, you know, somebody looks after me. Somebody supports me, you know, in this case, not pro. They support me, and you know they're here if I need to

And do you think like the relationship? But what's the relationship like with the With With Macro and the people that support you here, I can pick up the phone anytime. I understand they might not be able to answer straight away. There's other people like me that they help, but they will always get back to me

You know, they will always contact me. Make sure I'm OK. It's great

It's you know it's great, and I'm even in a really fortunate position that the boss of this na area you don't live too far from me. I tend to see him every couple of weeks. Brilliant

And is is there anything else that you'd like to share or reflect on? I do worry about the next step. Yeah, OK, because it is only temporary housing. You know, I understood that when it came in

I do know people that have gone through similar processes with different companies and with the, uh, they went on to their what they call forever home. I don't know. I know there's a bidding system that I'm getting put on to for natural

There was talks about, you know, maybe going back into shared town. That kind of upset me, because to me, that's like going back. And I didn't know I'm not in control

And that frightened me And, you know, on a personal issue, I don't think it would be right to go back to where a place where you came from. I think social housing should be available. You know, whether it be, uh, local authority, whether it be housing association, but put you on the label that you're that you're on

Yeah, definitely. No, no, I think that's it. Thank you

Thank you for sharing. I'll stop recording.

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