Anthony, 52, had spent his youth in and out of prison, sleeping rough and using drugs. He hadn’t seen his daughter since she was a baby. But this year he is looking forward to spending Christmas in his own home with his wife, Joanne.
“Before I joined Mustard Tree, I was homeless, sleeping on the streets and couldn’t see a future for me at all. I was using drugs to cope and had been in and out of prison for the last 25 years. I hadn’t seen my little girl since she was a baby. I felt useless, like I was nothing.
When I came to Mustard Tree, everyone was really kind and so welcoming – I really felt like people cared about me and what I had to offer. I started to feel more confident. I took off my baseball caps and started to look at people in the eyes and actually talk to them.
There is so much on offer here; there is so much advice and support. I did things I would never have tried before, such as art classes, and I really enjoyed the Ready for Work Club.
The best thing was that with Mustard Tree’s help I got a job with a train company, my first real job! It was the start of building my new life. I have now been promoted to supervisor, got married, got a mortgage and started seeing my grown up daughter which means more to me than I can put into words. I never thought I’d be where I am now, but Mustard Tree believed in me. They gave me my life back.”