We first met Mark when he came to Kingsway 12 months ago. At that time, he was using around 20 bags of heroin and crack a day. Lawrence still remembers the day he met Mark very clearly, it was winter, and Mark was freezing. He lay his whole body across one of the radiators in the shelter and didn’t move from that spot for almost two hours. Mark found the help and support at Kingsway which helped him to cut back his drug habit. Sadly, after Kingsway closed, Mark’s drug addiction worsened, and he fell back into his old routine. Cotton Street is Mark’s last hope, he sees the shelter as the final change he needs and an opportunity that could determine his life or death.
If you’d like to find out more about Mark’s Story, read Brigid Benson’s fascinating interview with him for Mental Health Awareness Week. He tackles hard subjects surrounding mental health, his troubled upbringing and three wishes he has for the future.
After living at Cotton Street for 5 months, Mark has made huge improvements. He has been clean for three weeks, coming off the drugs on his own accord. He puts it down to the amazing support he has received from Cotton Street staff and his friend Brian, Mr Old Hall Street. He feels positive and that life is now finally getting better for him. Mark hopes to stay off the drugs and work towards getting back in touch with his sisters, getting a job and having a flat he can call home. Since January 2019, the Cotton Street project has had a total of seven successes, just like Mark.
I feel like a new man already, I’m almost back to the Mark I was 20 years ago before I started taking drugs. Life is finally getting good now.
I started using when I was 22 years old, I’m now 43. So, this is make or break for me, if I don’t do this then I’ll be dead next year. I need to do this, if I can’t do this then I may as well go and put myself in that wooden box.
With the help of the NHS, Merseycare, council officials, agencies and the people of Liverpool, we’re stronger together, and can really make a difference.