Former homeless man in talks with Merton Council to set up rent free housing scheme
A businessman who became homeless when his business collapsed is trying to help others by giving them the tools to live rent free.
Mark Francis, whose first internet based business went bankrupt in 1999, found himself on the streets until a friend told him about a new homeshare scheme.
The scheme saw the now 41-year-old move in with an elderly man and live rent free in exchange for helping him around the house with things like gardening, cleaning and running errands.
After five years living in various homes, Mr Francis decided that as the scheme helped him so much, he wanted to set up his own calling it Care2Stay.
He said: "Homeshare helped me through a very difficult time in my life, and I would also like to think I helped others through theirs.
"My first match wasn't particularly suitable, but apart from that, I had a wonderful five years, and learned a lot about people.
"It really worked for both of us, they wanted companionship and help, whereas I wanted free rent so I could get back on my feet.
"Now I want everyone to know how great these schemes are."
His experiences can be read in his new book, Rent Free in the City, and he is now in talks with Merton Council to see whether there is scope to bring the scheme to the borough.
Care2Stay try and match up individuals with a suitable homeowner and run thorough checks on interested parties. If you are interested contact Mr Francis on 08707188318.
A spokesman for Merton Council said: "Mark has been in touch and we plan to speak to him further about the detail."
- African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust urges shoppers to give the gift of life this Christmas
- Merton's Young Advisors meet MPs
- Lawyer raises £10,000 for autism charity after Christmas carol concert
- Support group for disadvantaged adults nominated for Merton Civic Award
- Mountain climber died after guide missed signs of altitude sickness
Comments are closed on this article.