When St. Joseph Hospital referred David P. to Illumination Foundation’s Recuperative Care, he had been experiencing homelessness for 10 years. David had developed liver cirrhosis and peptic ulcer disease from years of drinking and frequently went to the emergency room for stomach pain. Another side effect was forgetfulness that made it difficult for him to look after his already poor health. Originally scheduled to stay at Recuperative Care for two weeks, David was instead referred to our Chronic Care Plus (CCP) program after learning about his past of frequent hospital visits; so he could receive long-term help with his medical and social needs.
When case management sat down with David to assess his needs it stood out to them that he had never had an eye exam in his life – staff immediately helped him get one. Over the course of his homelessness David had also lost all forms of identification, lost his income, and lost touch with his family. Case management helped him obtain income benefits, apply for SSI, and obtain a new ID and social security card. Due to his forgetfulness and chronic pain, getting these pieces of his life back together was harder for him than for others. It would often take more than one try for David to get through a given process – but he was willing to keep trying, and with staff advocating for him along the way, he was able to get an income and the basic documents he would need to begin rebuilding his life.
At one point during the process, David disappeared. Staff contacted the community agencies they had connected him to, but the agencies had not seen him. Staff then reached out to David’s estranged sister. When he had first entered Illumination Foundation and was asked if he had any family support, he said he had a sister but due to past issues they weren’t on speaking terms. When staff called his sister, she said David had not contacted her but she was concerned about him; and she kept in touch with Illumination Foundation until he returned. From then on David and his sister reconnected and stayed in touch.
David was welcomed back to Illumination Foundation after his absence, and with the renewed family support he began a productive period that has culminated in July 2015 with David moving into permanent housing. With the help of case management connecting him to a housing subsidy, he can now afford his rent, ending a decade of homelessness. At the board and care where he now resides, staff there also provide reminders for him to take his medications and keep an eye on how he’s doing, which is vital to his stability. David can now look towards a brighter future with stable housing, better health, and with the support of his family.