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J.W.

J.W. first became homeless after being laid off from work. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and spent six years living on the street. In 2008, a judge referred him to the Behavioral Health Center, and J.W. begin seeing a psychiatrist once a week. Later that year, he was accepted as a resident at the Labre Center. The occupational therapist on staff helped him reconnect with his daughter. The staff members worked with him to develop his life skills and gave him a "foundation to build upon." J.W. left the Labre Center in 2010 and moved into an apartment near the Labre Center. He is now in the 4th year of his lease. He goes to school part-time for a degree in human services, and he works part time as a janitor for the Labre Center. After completing his degree, J.W. wants to put it to use working for Peter & Paul Community Services. For those individuals who are homeless and mentally ill, and who need the same help that J.W. once needed, he tells them, "Come to Peter & Paul, it's an open hand of friendship."

D.H.

When D.H. was a child, his mother died and his father remarried. A few years later his father died and his step mother put him into foster care. When D.H. turned 18 and timed out of the foster care system, he had nowhere to go but the street. D.H. stayed at several shelters before arriving at PPCS' emergency shelter. PPCS shelter staff spoke to DH about the transitional program, and after his 90 day stay at the shelter, he moved into the transitional program. Over the 18 months he lived at the transitional program, D.H. found a full-time job at the Red Lobster paying $12.98 per hour, and a part-time job at another restaurant paying $11 per hour. D.H. works both jobs and saves the pay check from his part-time job. Once D.H. began working full-time, he was no longer eligible to be in the transitional program due to income guidelines imposed by funders. The transitional case manager and D.H. drew up a 30 day exit plan so that D.H.would have everything in place to move into his own apartment. When D.H. moved out, he had $2,800 in savings. He said he had never before saved that much money. He also opened a checking account, something he had never done before either. D.H. lives in a small apartment in south St. Louis city, continues to work two jobs, and is now attending culinary school. He loves to cook and hopes to someday own his own café.

G.M.

G.M. graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering but began using drugs in his 20s, and as a result never stayed at any job for very long. He was eventually sent to federal prison for felony drug possession. Now in his mid-50s, G.M. is on disability, with painful neuropathy in his feet and cirrhosis of the liver. G.M. lived at the transitional housing program for 18 months. During that time, he began attending sobriety support meetings five days a week and saved $2,100. He purchased a truck with the money he saved, because taking the bus required standing and walking, both of which are extremely painful for him. The transitional case manager helped G.M. find subsidized housing and wrote a letter of recommendation for him because most government subsidized housing does not accept felons, and G.M. would not have qualified for the apartment even though his conviction was 18 years ago. G.M. is living in his own apartment, attends sobriety support meetings, and continues to attend the transitional program's community collabARTive program. Had it not been for the transitional program, G.M. would likely still be in and out of emergency shelters and on the streets.

T.M.

T.M. and his wife owned a home in Crestwood and had been married over 20 years. T.M.'s wife died in 2008. A year after his wife died, T.M. was laid off from his job as a glass cutter due to a back injury. T.M. would no longer pay his mortgage. Eventually, the house went into foreclosure, and T.M. was homeless for the first time in his life. T.M. left his house with some clothes, some photos, his van, tools, and laptop, and came to live at the PPCS emergency shelter. After spending 60 days in the shelter, T.M. entered the transitional program. T.M. is 65 years old and receives $777 monthly from social security. T.M. attended the financial education classes conducted by a local bank, and opened a checking account. He began saving money and had several thousand dollars saved when his van was stolen, along with all of his tools and his laptop. Despite this setback, after 18 months T.M. had saved $3,500 for an emergency fund. The managing artist of the community collabARTive put him touch with a friend who was looking for someone to live in the house he owned in exchange for making repairs and renovating the home. T.M. has been living in this small home for 8 months now and pays $50 a month in rent, along with making repairs and maintaining the yard. This arrangement has allowed T.M. to continue to save money and slowly replace the tools that were stolen from him. He is also saving for another van. Occasionally T.M. helps out some of the other guys in the transitional program by letting them move in with him for a short period of time while they finish school or look for a better paying job. T.M. continues to attend the transitional program's community collabARTive art program to keep in touch with staff and friends.

J.W.

J.W. perdió su vivienda después de haber sido despedido de su trabajo. Lo diagnosticaron con esquizofrenia y pasó seis años viviendo en la calle. En 2008 un juez lo refirió al Behavior Health Center (Centro para un Comportamiento Sano) y J.W. comenzó a visitar a un siquiatra una vez por semana. Más tarde ese mismo año fue aceptado como residente en el Centro Labre. El terapeuta ocupacional que estaba de turno lo ayudó a reconectarse con su hija. Todo el personal se dio a la tarea de ayudarlo a desarrollar las habilidades que son necesarias para la vida, o sea, le dieron un cimiento para que pudiera construir sobre el mismo. J.W. dejó el Centro Labre en 2010 y se mudó a un apartamento cercano. Ya lleva 4 años de inquilino en este mismo lugar. También asiste a la escuela a tiempo parcial para obtener un título de servicios sociales y trabaja a tiempo parcial como conserje en el Centro Labre. Una vez obtenga su título, J.W. quiere trabajar en Peter & Paul Community Services. A todas aquellas personas que carecen de vivienda, sufren de una enfermedad mental y necesitan la misma ayuda que J.W. una vez necesitó, él les dice: “Vengan a Peter & Paul, aquí hay manos abiertas y amistosas”.

G.M.

G.M. se graduó y obtuvo su licenciatura en ingeniería, pero comenzó a usar drogas durante la década de sus 20 años y como resultado nunca pudo permanecer en un mismo trabajo por mucho tiempo. Finalmente fue enviado a una prisión federal por un delito mayor relacionado con la posesión de drogas. Ahora que está en sus 50 y tantos años, G.M. está discapacitado y padece de una neuropatía dolorosa en sus pies, además de una cirrosis hepática. G.M. se acogió al programa de vivienda transitoria durante 18 meses. Durante ese tiempo comenzó a ir cinco veces por semana a las reuniones que lo ayudan a permanecer sobrio y ahorró $2,100. Con ese dinero se compró una camioneta, ya que tomar el autobús significaba tener que caminar y estar parado por tiempo, cosas que le resultaban extremadamente dolorosas. El gerente de casos transitorios ayudó a G.M. para que encontrara una vivienda subsidiada y le escribió una carta de recomendación, ya que la mayoría de las viviendas que son subsidiadas por el gobierno no aceptan a personas con antecedentes penales mayores, por tanto G.M. no hubiese podido calificar para el apartamento aunque ya hacía 18 años de haber cometido el crimen. G.M. vive ahora en su propio apartamento, participa de las reuniones que lo ayudan a mantenerse sobrio y continúa participando del programa comunitario de arte de collabARTive. De no haber sido por el programa de vivienda transitoria, probablemente G.M. estaría todavía yendo de un albergue de emergencia a otro y viviendo en la calle.

T.M.

T.M. y su esposa tenían una casa en Crestwood y llevaban 20 años de casados. La esposa de T.M. murió en 2008. Un año más tarde a T.M. lo despidieron del trabajo de corta-vidrios debido a una lesión en la espalda. T.M. ya no podría pagar su hipoteca. Finalmente perdió su casa por una ejecución hipotecaria y T.M. se vio viviendo en las calles por primera vez en su vida. T.M. se llevó de su casa alguna ropa, algunas fotos, su camioneta, herramientas, su computadora laptop y se vino a vivir al albergue de emergencia de PPCS. Después de pasar 60 días en el albergue TM entró al programa de vivienda transitoria. T.M. tiene 65 años de edad y recibe $777 del seguro social. T.M. fue a una clase de educación financiera ofrecida por un banco local y abrió una cuenta corriente. Empezó a ahorrar dinero y había ya ahorrado varios millares de dólares cuando le robaron su camioneta junto con todas sus herramientas y su laptop. A pesar de este contratiempo, 18 meses más tarde T.M. había vuelto a ahorrar $3,500 para emergencias. El administrador artístico de la collabARTive de la comunidad lo puso en contacto con un amigo que buscaba una persona que viviera en su hogar a cambio de que le hicieran reparaciones y renovaciones a la casa. T.M. ha estado viviendo ya 8 meses en esta pequeña casa por un alquiler de $50 mensuales además de hacer reparaciones y mantener el jardín. Este acuerdo le ha permitido a T.M. continuar ahorrando dinero e ir remplazando poco a poco las herramientas que le robaron. También está tratando de ahorrar a fin de comprarse otra camioneta. Ocasionalmente T.M. ayuda a algunos de los otros hombres que están en este programa permitiéndoles que vivan con él por un corto plazo mientras terminan la escuela o buscan un empleo mejor retribuido. T.M. continúa participando en el programa comunitario de arte para seguir en contacto con el personal y con sus amigos.