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From homelessness to running the Bath Half

A man who was homeless has now managed to turn his life around with the help of Julian House, and is now running the Bath Half Marathon.

Picture courtesy of The Bath Chronicle

Jason Green’s life fell apart a year and a half ago when he lost his family and his home, but he was able to claw his way back thanks to the help he received from us; we were able to help him find first a bed, a home and finally a job.

To say thanks, Mr Green is now gearing up to run the Bath Half Marathon and wants to give any money he raises back to Julian house.

In an interview with the Bath Chronicle Mr Green, 41, said: “I was alcohol dependant at the time so my relationship broke down and in the end I lost my son and everything – I had nothing left. I had never lived in Bath, but I was born in RUH (the Royal United Hospital in Combe Park) so I thought it would be good to get back to my roots. I was sleeping in the streets for around a month, but it got to the point where I was going through bins to survive and eating food off the floor.”

Mr Green explained he was saved by the friendship of the homeless people he encountered in Bath, one of whom showed him how to register as homeless, once he was registered homeless, a number of services opened up for Mr Green and he was able to apply for a bed at Julian house.

Mr Green said: “I fell in with some homeless people who showed me where I could sleep safely at night with company. I put my name down for Julian House and about a month later I got given a single pod bed in the hostel. That’s when Julian House came into their own really – when I got inside the hostel and got a roof over my head. They helped me with my addiction and my dyslexia. They sorted out counselling sessions for me and even got me access to my 15-year-old son.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am without then. The truth is I would be dead without them. That’s just the truth – I would have died.”

“There’s such a bad reputation around homeless people in Bath. People just see them as alcoholics causing trouble in the streets, but Julian House just isn’t like that on the inside. They do a lot of work for a lot of people. There aren’t enough places like it in the world.”

Picture courtesy of The Bath Chronicle

A year later his support worker referred Mr Green to our support housing project, Mr Green explained: “It’s like Julian House (Manvers street hostel) but I have my own room, which is kind of like a bedsit. There’s ten others living there but they all have their own bedsits.

“I’ve been there for about four months now, if Julian House hadn’t moved me there I wouldn’t have found my part-time job- I’m working as a cleaner for two hours a day. I was able to sort that out because I had an address of my own. You can’t do it with the hostel as an address for example, you need your own address. I can stay here for two years and nine times out of ten people leave after a year. Then they help you find more permanent accommodation like a council home or something – you just have to work with them.”

Mr Green is now planning on running the Bath Half Marathon and raise money for Julian House.

He said: “I’m eager rather than confident to be honest, but I’ve just finished my treadmill training to build up stamina so now it’s time to get on with the outdoor running. I just want to raise as much money as possible for Julian House because they’ve done so much for me.”

When asked what advice Jason had for anyone who found themselves living on the streets in Bath, Mr Green said the key thing was to keep banging on the doors of the council and Julian House.

Mr Green said: “I would advise anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation in Bath to go to Julian House and the One Stop council service. You might have to keep going back if there are no beds, but I would tell anyone to go back there every day. The prioritise women first, because they are seen as more vulnerable, but if you keep going back every day they will help you. A lot of the people I met while I was homeless had addictions or were homeless because of circumstances beyond their control. People jump to conclusions about homeless people, but not everyone I met was as bad as you would think. They’re just people who have been unlucky in some way. It could happen to anyone. I never thought it would happen to me and I used to look at homeless people the same way as everyone else does.”

Cecil Weir, our fundraising director said he was delighted by both Mr Green’s gesture and the help the charity has been able to give him.

Mr Weir said: “What we do for clients is always what we perceive is the best help that’s going to improve their lives and reconnect them with the local community. We don’t do that expecting to get anything back, rather it’s absolutely what the organisation is about. However every now and again someone like Mr Green decides that they want to do something to support our work and acknowledge what we’ve been able to do for them.”

“It’s a fantastic gesture and I urge anyone who knows Mr Green to support him as he gets ready for the Bath Half Marathon.”

You can support Jason through his Just Giving page here.