“Help means to make things easier. Help is just what Sheltered Inc. provided me.”
I had been living in the same house for over five years. I recently lost my job, which decreased my monthly income. I am still receiving social security benefits. However, due to the loss in income, I became behind on my rent. I attempted to advocate for myself to remain in housing, however, after multiple attempts I gave up.
The humiliation that I felt for not only being homeless, but also living out of my car was great. I felt so alone and betrayed. I believed falling on hard times would open the door for family to get involved and help out. My thinking was way off. There was no help for me from any of my family.
I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and I made a call to Sheltered Inc. I called on February 2nd, and was placed in shelter. I felt so relieved that I no longer had to stay in my car. When I entered the hotel, I again felt embarrassed because I was there and saw a staff person who I have known for a long time, and that made me feel so low. However, she reassured me that they were there to help and not judge anyone.
Help – means to make things easier for someone. Help is just what Sheltered Inc. provided me. I was connected to a case manager and she referred me to the Homeless Crisis Response Program. Immediately, both case managers worked quickly to assist me with housing. On the 24th of February, I obtained housing and housing assistance. The appreciation I feel is beyond words. It is my hope that one day I will be able to pay it forward. I pray that other clients are just as successful as I was. I pray that the case managers realize how much of a blessing they are.
“Entering the shelter was a blessing in disguise”
I’ve battled with homelessness and substance abuse for many years. I have two children that have also been a part of this nasty journey. Initially, the mother of my children was also part of the journey. However, her drug abuse drove her away. I entered the shelter in March, 2021. During that time, I was so lost. I didn’t want to speak with anyone or take part in any programs. All I wanted was for me and my children to get housing.
Well, that didn’t happen as quickly as I wanted it to, which led me to continue to use. I had a case manager that spoke with me regarding drug abuse, but I denied it. I knew if I admitted CPS would be involved. In my mind I had already taken my children through enough. That was my thinking. The reality is that I needed help so that I would not lose my children. But, I still kept my drug use my “own secret”.
In May, I was asked if my children could participate in therapy that was being offered at the shelter. I was overwhelmed with fear because I didn’t know what my children would share. But, I still let them go. It was a great decision on my part, finally. My children were happy to go to therapy and I felt that they were finally healing from all their trauma. But, I was still in a dark place because I refused to address my drug addiction.
Then the day came, the substance abuse Counselor asked me to participate in individual counseling. I was beyond hesitant at first but I went. I was able to be honest. Honesty was like a plague to me, it was always best for me to speak a partial truth. During the sessions, I wasn’t judged. I wasn’t even asked why I was using. The counselor did ask me where my pain came from. The question was shocking. It caused me to reflect over my life. I wasn’t able to provide an answer at that time. I knew I would need to sit back and think on the question. The next meeting we had, I was able to give my answer. My pain came from life. Life has been a struggle for me since early on. The best way for me to deal with my pain was to numb myself. Numbing didn’t provide healing it only provided a temporary escape.
The counselor suggested that I get connected with McKinley Hall. Surprisingly I did just that. I went to IOP and I still remain engaged to this day. Not only am I sober but I have housing. My children and I have our own beds and a place to call our own.
Me entering the shelter was a blessing in disguise.