When we talk about homeless services, it is usually about sheltering people and getting them into housing – the front end of the work, if you will. But that pales in comparison to the work we have to do to keep people housed. The chronically homeless people we house all have disabilities, typically including mental illness. Sometimes we have to be especially aggressive to make sure their rent is paid on time and that they are not mishandling their money.
This story is about Jenni and “E”.
Jenni is a case manager here at Ascencia, and she has developed a reputation for being a fierce advocate. Jenni’s client “E” had been homeless many years, and even placed in housing, which she lost because she gave away her money before paying rent.
Seeing that E was frequently preyed upon by a few other homeless people on the streets, Ascencia became her payee. We manage her checks and dole out her money so that she doesn’t risk giving it all away.
That helps, but then there was the problem of predatory people coming into her apartment and taking over to use drugs. Jenni quickly intervened and o
btained a restraining order on E’s behalf. All was well for a few months, when the predator returned. E immediately came to Jenni, and together they notified the police.
We are so proud of E for taking control of her life, and for Jenni’s perseverance in coaching E on being more assertive.
It’s stories like these that contribute to our success rate: 94% of the chronically homeless people we have housed in our permanent supportive housing programs have remain housed a year or longer!
With determined clients and staff, and with the support of our Ascencia family, we’re looking forward to more success stories like E in 2015.Thank you! Natalie P. Komuro Executive Director