Making an Impact – Habitually Homeless Client Finds Stability
In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand the lives they touch and the difference they make throughout the community. Client names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.
Two years ago, when Jane became a JFS client, she was chronically homeless. The JFS social worker often had difficulty reaching her and would lose contact with her for months at a time. Contact occurred when Jane was hospitalized, but after discharge, there was none.
She stayed at a homeless shelter from time to time and would call with questions about her healthcare, but she never accepted an assessment and was resistant to available housing options including assisted living facilities. During a recent shelter stay, the social worker asked Jane if she would be willing to meet to be assessed and review permanent housing options. During the assessment she spoke of her battles with grief and mental illness.
During this shelter stay, Jane struggled to find stable housing because of a previous failure to pay rent. The shelter staff was eventually able to overcome this challenge and find a long-term care facility where she could live. But she wasn’t comfortable and left the shelter, returning to the street with her suitcase.
During the next winter, Jane was hospitalized and then admitted to a nursing facility. The social worker was relieved to learn she was finally in a safe, stable living environment. Frequent care conferences with facility staff and the social worker helped her feel more comfortable and secure which has enabled her to voice her concerns and remain at the facility.
With a longer, more substantive stay, Jane has become open with staff and shared her hope of getting her own apartment. With the help of the nursing facility staff and her JFS social worker, help that she is now willing to accept, her hope may become a reality.