Dan’s Story

Nine years ago, I found myself homeless after my landlord at the time decided to sell the property I was living in. Because I had my dog, Moby, it was difficult enough to find that property to rent, but finding another at short notice was impossible.

This turn of events led to me and Moby sleeping rough in Brighton for a number of years. I didn’t see a way to access services that could help us both and still keep my best friend safe, loved and most importantly, with me. That was until a member of the public befriended me and contacted StreetLink. Very quickly some people from St Mungo’s Outreach Team made contact, reassured me that everything that I was worried about would be ok. The next night I slept in a very comfortable hotel bed, with Moby snuggled up next to me. And… yes, he was under the duvet!

The speed with which my circumstances changed because of St Mungo’s support, left me inspired. When I moved into my own flat, my mind turned to returning to work. I realised that I wanted to use my experience to help others that found themselves in the same position I had and give them the same chance to rebuild their lives too.

My previous career was in Hospitality Management and to successfully change sectors I decided to gain some experience by volunteering. I was in the process of applying to be a Peer Mentor for St Mungo’s when I was told about the opportunity to apply for an Apprentice Assessment and Reconnection Officer at the No Second Night Out (NSNO) service in Brighton. I applied and got the job!

My average day as an Apprentice Assessment and Reconnection Worker is hectic. Pretty much anything that can happen, will happen, and the best laid plans sometimes have to be shelved in favour of taking a more dynamic approach.

My previous career was in the hospitality industry, so undertaking an apprenticeship within St Mungo’s has helped me to develop my transferable skills in terms of working within the adult social care sector. It’s also given me the knowledge that I needed so that I have a strong foundation to build on for the future.

My dog Moby is truly my best friend. Moby’s been there with me through some of the darkest and most hopeless times of my life and because of him, I kept going. I’m extremely proud to work for an organisation that sees how important dogs are to people and especially to people experiencing homelessness, because often, their dog is all they have left. The fact that St Mungo’s accepts dogs in its services really sets the organisation apart from others in the sector and is a testament to the overall holistic approach that we take when working with people to resolve their homelessness.