Help and advice on coronavirus and where to find support

Find out more

Malkolm's story: “I was homeless, now I’m married and run a business”

Our support allowed him to rebuild his life

Malkolm’s life has completely changed since we met him four years ago.

Then, he was homeless and struggling with his mental health. With our support, he’s rebuilt his life and is now a married business owner.

Malkolm became homeless after experiencing a relationship breakdown and being made redundant – all while struggling with mental health issues. He was forced to sleep in doorways, garages and anywhere he could find shelter.

“I was struggling with my mental health and needed to get away. I ended up on the streets because I felt that I had nowhere else to go, although there are large chunks of time that I can’t recall.

“I do remember how cold and damp it was. Even in the summer you would wake up in the middle of the night because it was so cold. Other times, you would get told to move on when you were just trying to rest.”

Support to leave the streets behind

Malkolm had been sleeping rough for a year when we began working with him. We gave him a room in one of our properties where he lived for two years whilst getting support to manage his mental health and rebuild his life.

I was somewhere with people who were interested in helping and making me better. They cared about my future and what I was going to do.

Helping Malkolm rebuild his life

Because homelessness is the ultimate form of exclusion, we know that helping people means more than just giving them a roof and a bed. Malkolm took part in various Porchlight activities and training opportunities which allowed him to meet people with similar experiences, build his confidence and learn new skills.

“The activities worker, John, organised a sailing trip with the Morning Star Trust for some of the residents. It brought a lot of us together and really got us talking about all the things we’d experienced. It was also an opportunity to get away, learn and work as a team whilst doing something that most of us had never done before. I found it very helpful and ended up going on several Porchlight sailing trips.

"There were also training courses, including one about becoming more resilient to difficult situations. Things like this were very important – they helped me grow as a human being."

A brighter future

We also helped Malkolm reconnect with his ex-partner Lesley. He had only wanted to explain where he had been, but the two soon decided to go on a date together.

That was two years ago, and we’re happy to say that Malkolm and Lesley are now happily married. They live on the south coast and run a small chain of takeaways that specialise in pasties. Malkolm was a well-regarded businessman before becoming homeless and has been able to use his old skills for this new venture.

Malkolm’s also back in contact with his grown-up children from a previous marriage and he keeps in touch with some former Porchlight residents who became close friends.

“Porchlight can help someone turn the corner and realise they have a future. For me, it’s my life now – and looking forward to going on holiday with my wife when the world is back to normal.”

To find out more about the services we offer, visit our Get Help pages.