Original article from Kent Live
A homeless man who died after being pulled from the River Medway had started to turn his life around.
Jason Curtis died on July 9 after he was discovered and rescued from the water. His family has set up a GoFundMe page in the hopes of paying for his funeral costs.
They are aiming to raise £2,500.
Jason had approached his home borough council of Ashford on several occasions in his life due to homelessness and also having spent time in prison.
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He was offered temporary accommodation as part of the government's 'Everybody In' initiative in February 2020, and was motivated to make a positive change in his life.
Steps were taken for Jason to make appointments at a GP and a local substance misuse clinic to address his poor health.
Progress went well for Jason who decided to start a Maker Life ‘Life and Work Skills Programme’ in February 2021 to turn his life around.
An Ashford Borough Council spokesman said: "Jason continued to attend his appointments at the clinic and stayed the whole Maker Life course, obtaining a certificate and praise for his endurance and completion, given the many struggles he had begun to overcome during this time.
"We will all miss our friend Jason but feel happy in the knowledge that, despite his sad and untimely death, he had achieved successes that he told us just before his passing, he never believed he could achieve.”
'It was such an encouragement to see the progress he was making'
Justin Barden from Bright City Church was also devastated by the news.
He said: “I have known Jason since December 2019 when he was a guest in the Ashford winter night shelter.
"Since then I’ve worked with Jason in a number of capacities including as his mentor for the last year.
"It was such an encouragement to see the progress that he was making especially with the Maker Life project that he completed recently.
“He improved the life of many that he came in contact with and will be sorely missed by many people especially myself," he added.
Ashford Together, who run the Maker Life programme that Jason went on, offered their condolences to his family.
"Jason joined our course at the beginning of May and graduated with us at the end of June.
"He was truly a remarkable man who positively impacted the lives of the project staff and participants. We are grateful to have met Jason, he will truly be missed by all of us.”