A new start for Swindon homeless man thanks to new friends

20 February 2019

A homeless man from Poland has turned his life around after meeting a fellow countryman at his Swindon supported housing service.

Lucasz Maselik with his friend Rafal Rozmus

Lucasz Maselik has gone from strength-to-strength since friendship blossomed with Rafal Rozmus at Sanctuary Supported Living’s (SSL) Culvery Court, a homelessness service based on Harding Street.

But life hasn’t always been easy for the 43-year-old. Lucasz arrived in England in 2014, later being joined by his wife. Following his marriage breakdown things took a turn for the worse and he also lost his job and home in quick succession.

Lucasz turned to alcohol for comfort and he became trapped in a cycle of depression, drinking to excess and homelessness.

His circumstances led to him sleeping on the streets of Swindon, before a referral was made on his behalf to Culvery Court. After attending an interview, Lucasz was thrilled when he was offered a place. He said: “I cried when I heard the news. I just couldn’t believe that someone was willing to give me a chance.”

The only barrier of Lucasz not speaking much English was overcome when Rafal, who was already living at Culvery Court, offered to help translate documents and other information.

Although Rafal was previously an introvert and stayed in his room much of the time, the duo are now inseparable, spending time together shopping, cooking and playing table tennis.

Staff at the service have been encouraging the friendship, and are supporting the pair to prepare a traditional Polish meal for their fellow residents.

Late last year, SSL took on the delivery of personalised care and support for residents at Culvery Court following a tender win. The move saw SSL become both landlord and support provider at the service, which it owned prior to the agreement being reached.

SSL’s local service manager, Tina Milburn, said: “It’s been a pleasure to watch Rafal and Lucasz spend time together. They are a real inspiration to each other.

“It’s especially rewarding given that we have only been delivering the care and support provision at Culvery Court for the last four months.”

Lucasz added: “It’s been so amazing, in just a few short weeks I’ve found a place to call home and I’ve made a lifelong friend from my own country.”

It’s been so amazing, in just a few short weeks I’ve found a place to call home and I’ve made a lifelong friend from my own country.

Lucasz Maselik, Resident

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