Homeless to Hopeful: Betty’s story

Betty is a 68 year-old client of County Mental Health, with additional medical and mobility issues, living successfully for 18 months in an MHSA funded and supported, handicapped accessible, one-bedroom apartment in a senior apartment complex. Betty and her cat Buster were homeless and living in her car when she was referred for MHSA supported housing. She had lost her previous housing during an episode of illness, had a variety of problems and barriers to housing often associated with mental illness and homelessness, and had no prospects for housing. Her car was unregistered and uninsured, she had lost her In Home Supportive Services and other support programs, and her SSI benefits had been suspended. With support from our Older Adult Services and Housing Support teams, these problems and barriers were successfully addressed and Betty moved into transitional housing while we supported her through the MHSA housing application process. Treatment staff also supported her reasonable accommodation request to keep Buster as a companion animal, and the move into her new apartment. Betty had some initial problems managing her illness and adjusting to her new housing, but with ongoing treatment, occupational therapy andpeer support,along with reinstated In Home Supportive Services, Betty has successfully returned to and remained stable in housing.

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