Tim had been living on the street for 7-10 years. Tim had mental health issues and had become a very anti-social person. He was afraid of any authority figure and just wanted to be left alone. Tim had not bathed in probably a year and was caked in mud and smelled of urine. His hair was matted and needless to say about 10 inches long.
Every day one of the men with the case manager from the men’s shelter would bring Tim a cup of coffee. Sometimes he would accept a cookie or Danish that we received from our food runs. Each time that we spoke to Tim he was invited to the shelter for a bath and a meal.
One day, to our surprise, he accepted our invitation. Tim bathed and received clean clothes and sat down in the living room of the shelter and fell asleep. Upon awakening, he accepted a ride back to where he had been sleeping.
Along the way, he was asked if he had ever been to a mental health provider named Day Mark. He said that he had, but hadn’t been there in a very long time. After careful prodding and pure determination, the case manager got him to go inside and see a doctor.
Seeing the condition, although clean, Tim was admitted to the hospital for a period of three days. During that time, he was prescribed his medication. When Tim was discharged, he was fairly stable and decided that he would “try out” the men’s shelter located on Chatham Street.
Tim continued to take his medication and was becoming more and more talkative and social every day. One day he accepted a ride to go and get a haircut. It was amazing what he looked like after that.
Tim would meet with the case manager daily. We discovered that Tim had a daughter in Virginia. We were finally able to contact her and she was so relieved because she had been looking for her father for at least 5 years. She also informed us that he received a SSDI check.
Tim, along with the case manager, went to the Social Security office and we learned that Tim had been receiving a direct deposit check and had over $20,000 in his account. His checks were being deposited into a Social Security account designed for those that do not have a bank account.
He requested a debit card which arrived at the shelter in three days. He shopped for new clothes and decided that he wanted to go to Virginia to visit family. While there he obtained housing, a mental health provider, and has only returned one time to Sanford for a visit and to say thank-you.
He contacts the case manager at least once a month and continues to do well. (Names and locations were changed to protect the privacy of those in this success story.)
Susan is a middle-aged divorcee who was abandoned by her husband. She was left with virtually no resources and sizable medical bills. Soon she was unable to afford her rent and was forced to leave her apartment.
After a period of time sleeping in her car, Susan was referred to the OMI women’s shelter through the 211 system. OMI case workers counseled Susan and identified that she had a good set of work skills and work ethic.
Susan entered the re-housing program which provided her a structured plan for finding a job, saving money and locating housing. Soon she had a job in the health care field and began saving money for rent and deposits.
In parallel, she worked on restoring her credit history while searching for housing. After 3 months, Susan found a small house in a good neighborhood and had saved sufficient money to pay the rent and utility deposits.
Today Susan is independent again with a good job, a place to stay and a much brighter future.
Tasha became homeless as a result of a divorce. Although working full-time at a health care facility, she found herself unable to manage her money and soon evicted from her housing. Tasha was referred to OMI by her church.
Since Tasha had a good work history, the OMI case manager identified that counselling on money management and savings were her biggest challenges. Tasha was referred to Life Skills Training through the Salvation Army while working on her savings/housing plan through OMI.
Utilizing the benefit of staying in the Women’s Shelter, she saved the money necessary for her rent and deposits in approximately two months. Tasha located a small house near her work through a local realtor and moved in shortly thereafter.
Tasha has been in her own place now for approximately a year.