Rob Mariner hasn’t enjoyed a hot shower in over a decade, but thanks to an incredible charity, now has a new lease on life.
In 1984, Mariner left his home to escape the abuse of his father. Since then, he has lived on the streets on New Zealand, never sleeping for more than a few hours at a time and struggling day by day to find donated food and hygiene items to survive. He lived that way for 33 years until everything changed. His sister was murdered in 2014, and his mother died of a broken heart the year after, he says, and he needed help to deal with it all. He became involved with a charity that helped the homeless get back onto their feet and find a new way to rejoin society. Eventually, he was able to move into a two bedroom, one bathroom home with a flatmate.
Taking his first hot shower in over a decade, he stood under the hot water for an hour until it ran cold. He couldn’t sleep that first night, and he and his flatmate had a hard time adjusting to a new way of life.
Their first dinner was eaten cold. Neither of them knew how to use a stove and didn’t realize that they needed to switch the oven on to warm their dinner.
You can have coffee when you want and open the fridge when you like.”
It was strange to get used to, but there is really only one thing he missed about being homeless:
I had no bills when I was homeless.”
But now, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
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