The history of St Marks over the last twenty three years has been a battle for financial survival, but it is a success story as will become evident. The service started from small beginnings in 1987 as a "drop in centre" and temporary shelter for young people who were homeless, disadvantaged and sometimes suicidal (often as a result of alcohol and drugs); or who were in trouble with the law. This service often gave parents/families respite from their family member who needed help. The Nelson Dioceses of the Anglican Church leased their decommissioned church site at 61 Main Street to facilitate this activity.
With a lot of initiative and support from several individuals and the Community, the service grew. A decision was made to concentrate on tāngata whai ora with significant alcohol and drug issues; to provide secure accommodation and to develop a structured therapeutic programme. Clearly it would also be necessary to deal with the deteriorating mental and physical health of the people arriving here and assist with their legal and financial difficulties. By the 90's services were provided to both genders and all ethnicities aged 18 years or over.