Bruce first came to Mustard Tree in March 2022 to visit the Street Engagement Hub about accommodation. Bruce says his first trip to Mustard Tree gave him much more than he expected…
Bruce was sleeping rough when he visited Mustard Tree for the first time. After the breakdown of a 27-year relationship, he fell into a depression, which eventually led to him becoming homeless. Bruce has no family in Manchester, and such a drastic life change left him feeling isolated and unable to cope. “I was devasted and nothing else mattered – I was passionate about work and my home, all of that did not matter anymore and I got ill,” Bruce says.
In March 2022, Bruce was spotted sleeping on the streets and was advised to visit The Salvation Army for support. The Salvation Army was able to offer Bruce support around his well-being and referred him to The Street Engagement Hub at Mustard Tree. They assessed his situation and within the hour, Bruce was offered a place in supported accommodation.
Additionally, Bruce got a hot meal and was given essential items, like toiletries by the support team.
“I needed help. I got immediately offered something to eat, they offered me to get some essentials like food and toiletries. I didn’t know what to expect; I just came to Mustard Tree expecting they could give me food – but I got much more, they sorted everything out for me”. Bruce says – “I was really in quite a bad way when I think back to it, and I was hungry, I hadn’t had a proper meal in months”.
For Bruce, it was the support and kindness of others and a few words from strangers which helped him to see his situation differently – “I didn’t know there was support out there, but then I was told ‘you don’t need to be hungry’ and ‘you don’t need to be alone’, and that there are places I could go”.
In August 2022, Bruce began taking part in Mustard Tree’s Creative Classes, including Art Club and Creative Writing Class, having lunch at The Hub, and becoming part of the community. “The staff are very kind, very friendly, very knowledgeable, engaging, and caring. I trust them – and that’s a big one for me. If I speak to someone at Mustard Tree, I feel it’s going to get sorted. It’s been my saviour this place”.
“It’s important to emphasise that homelessness doesn’t discriminate. Educated or uneducated, poor, or rich. It can happen to anyone” Bruce says “Anyone can become homeless”.
In December 2022, Bruce secured a new job and moved on from supported accommodation after finding a new home. Bruce is feeling more positive about the future and is looking forward to getting back into full-time employment and beginning a new chapter.