Mark Chapman (past co-ordinator) From the beginning
Mark came to WISE Guys 6 years ago. Here is Mark’s story.
I (Mark) had a good job a few years ago but had issues with the booze & was (in my words) “an alcoholic” trying to fight wanting to drink but also trying to live in our society. With the help of rehabs & family, I got sober & stayed that way for 6 years.
Staying sober wasn’t easy & I relapsed a few times. Finally ending up in Hospital with Liver Failure. I wasn’t in a good way & my body was giving up due to the effects of alcohol. Things went belly up where I was living & ended up on the streets living in my car or where ever I could park up. I decided to go into a place on the North Shore who gave me a WISE Guys pamphlet.
I rang the 0800 phone number & spoke to a man called Brent (this was Brent Milesi). I made my way out to Kingseat with directions from Brent to their WISE Guys Men’s Refuge. They (WISE Guys) took me in & helped me thru my addiction with the booze. I did relapse a couple of more times but Brent & Stephan (Clinical Director) never gave up on me, stuck with it & that was the turning point in my life.
I have been ever since. I dried out & have been sober now for 3 years & feeling good about life again. I am now one of the House Fathers at WISE Guys & giving back to other men like me. The trust & responsibility that WISE Guys installed in me I can’t thank Brent & Stephan enough. They have helped make me what I am today & I’m loving it. Better than any rehab that’s for sure. It has made all the difference.
Norm Tattersall – (past Co-ordinator) My story
It was about 4 years ago now that I found myself homeless. I was retired & living in a caravan. I was living with relatives who had decided to move overseas. They couldn’t / didn’t want to take me with them.
I was Homeless with no-one wanting to take me on or give me a roof over my head & nowhere to go. The Police picked me up & as I had nowhere to go they said they were taking me to a place called WISE Guys out at Kingseat.
I went into the counseling program at WISE Guys & some other programs that I was put through & graduated from these. WISE Guys also sent me through a Facilitator course & was made Head Facilitator myself. Part of my role at the Refuge was to help other men / residents at the WISE Guys house. I have now gone onto to become the House Father at the Manurewa Community Housing Project house.
WISE Guys saw something in me, gave me responsibility & I have been here ever since. I love being a big part of the house & also being House Father. WISE Guys is now what I call home. I love it.
Mark & Norm are just some of the success stories to come out of WISE Guys Men’s Refuge. There are lots more feel good stories that have come out of the involvement of the dedicated WISE Guys team. It is obviously much appreciated & is changing people’s lives.