Mossy's story: "Being homeless doesn't mean a person is worthless or useless”

Mossy used to be a Porchlight client, now he works in one of our hostels

Before he became one of our support workers, Mossy was homeless and had been supported by Porchlight.

"I was homeless for many years and I know how hard it is to spend night after night in the same wet clothes with nowhere to go, sleeping under cold blankets, being abused by people in the street, and having no self-worth and no belief. You don't feel like a human being any more."

Mossy’s homelessness was a result of teenage trauma. He’d lost both parents by the age of 17 and turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Without structure and boundaries in place, he eventually became homeless.

The right support to move forward

"With the help of Porchlight, I managed to turn my life around. And I can tell you that anybody can turn their life around no matter their circumstances. Being homeless doesn't mean a person is worthless or useless, it just means they are going through a bad period in their life. With help from charities like Porchlight, change is possible.”

Having felt the kindness of others, Mossy wanted to give something back to the community. He applied to work for Porchlight but didn’t expect to get the job. “They looked at me as the person I was, not who I’d been whilst recovering,” he says. “It gave me self-belief.”

Now Mossy works in one of our hostels, supporting people who are going through similar situations.

“I’ve experienced everything under the sun – homelessness, mental health problems and addiction. I know what our residents are going through and will do whatever I have to in order to help them. They are human beings just like everyone else and it’s so important to treat them with empathy.

Putting a roof over someone's head is just the start.

"Putting a roof over someone's head is just the start. We must help them develop the self-belief and skills which can allow them to become independent again.”

Worryingly, the life-saving work carried out by Mossy and our other staff is under threat because of funding cuts to homelessness services.

"If the support that Porchlight provides is lost, there would be people dying,” Mossy says. “If you're sitting on the streets and there are no services that are going to help you move away from that, there's no point in living."

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their home you can find information on our current range of support here. Or if you are concerned about someone who is rough sleeping, you can tell us here.