Supported Housing Program Client
Before Sandra connected with Buckelew Programs, she had experienced many years of mental health challenges that she had just learned to live with. “I never had the insight that help might be available,” she says. “I just thought it was ‘normal’ for me.” Her severe depression eventually resulted in estrangement from her family, losing her job and finally, losing her home.
“At the time I was homeless, I didn’t have much hope,” she says. “I thought it was going to be that way forever. I just didn’t care if I lived or died.” Living without stable housing can often exacerbate mental illness, and untreated individuals often experience crisis situations while living on the streets. Sandra was ultimately referred to Buckelew Programs through the county, and it was then that she became hopeful for her future. Through Buckelew, she was connected to counseling, housing and referrals to other community services available to her.
In 2020-2021, more than 650 clients were safely housed through Buckelew’s Supported Housing Program and received case management services to keep them in stable health. The program combines affordable housing with a range of intensive coordinated, evidence-based services, ensuring that clients avoid crises that can lead to hospitalizations or incarceration.
“I began to believe I could get my life back,” she says. “I don’t know if I every really had one. Buckelew in my life gave me light, when I had been living in the dark for so long.”
Sandra’s case manager, Jessie, was instrumental in helping Sandra secure independent housing through the Housing Disability Assistance Program. “She helped me complete the application, made sure I qualified, and then submitted it,” Sandra says. “I would not have known how to do such and be successful in doing so, on my own.”
Today, Sandra is enjoying living independently in a safe and stable environment, where she receives regular case management support through Buckelew that allows her to continue “focusing on getting better, on getting well.”
“I’m grateful for the help I received; for everyone at Buckelew who helped me finally reach this new chapter in my life,” she says. “No matter the challenges I’ll still face, I am living indoors with food to eat. I hope my story is enough to give someone else hope.”