Mark’s Story

Mark had been struggling for a couple of years with addiction and ended up homeless and panhandling on the streets of Grand Rapids. It was a low-point for him, but things were about to turn around, drastically.

After several attempts at detox and rehabilitation facilities, he ended up at Randy’s House in Newaygo. He had found employment in Newaygo and was working second shift, walking to and from work, in all kinds of weather. As part of his recovery and path to self-sufficiency, the staff at Randy’s House suggested he work on repairing his credit rating. That is how he first met Lori Murphy, a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor with our CNH Program. Working with Lori, he slowly but surely improved his credit score with the ultimate goal of owning his own home.

“My number one goal was security… I never wanted to be homeless again. I never wanted to be in that situation where; I have nowhere to go.”

Mark was even able to weather a lay-off because he had taken Lori’s advice to heart and saved money for an emergency. As such, he was able to keep paying off debt without it adversely effecting his improving credit score.

When he was finally able to begin buying his own home, he was overwhelmed by the appraisal and inspection process, but again, Lori was there to walk alongside him and help him navigate that overwhelming process.

“She kept me focused, with my eyes on the goal – to own my own home. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Lori. I look back two years ago and I think, wow… this actually happened. If I can do it… I mean… I was holding my hand out on the streets of Grand Rapids, homeless, two years ago, and to walk into that home and have tears in my eyes… it’s just unbelievable.”  

Watch the full story in this video.