Gloria’s story of homelessness began 10 years ago when her nephew drove her to Skid Row in Los Angeles and left her there with only 3 dollars in her pocket. With a slew of mental health diagnoses and worsening dementia, Gloria was not able to remember where she came from or where her family lived. With no one to advocate for her, Gloria simply stayed put and tried to survive as best as she could. She slept on park benches and was able to sustain a living by collecting recyclables or sell her hand-crafted jewelry to passersby on the side of the freeway.
For ten years, this became a living for Gloria until her health began to deteriorate. Now at the age of 68, and with worsening edema on her legs, she found herself going more and more to the emergency room for her medical care. In December 2015, Gloria checked herself into East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital and was admitted due to increase swelling of her legs.
A Social Worker at the hospital referred Gloria to the Illumination Foundation’s Recuperative Care. While in Recuperative Care, her Case Manager was able to gather information about her true identity and found interesting information regarding her past.
Gloria was born in Korea in 1947 and immigrated to Mexico as a child during the Korean War. She met her husband in Mexico in the 1970s and shortly thereafter, came to the United States. It wasn’t until her husband’s death in the 1990s that her mental health worsened. Due to Gloria’s legal status in the United States, she was not eligible for any public assistance or receive any mental health services to treat her psychotic & schizophrenic disorders.
While in Recuperative Care, the Staff was able to connect Gloria to a primary care physician and connect her to mental health services through Los Angeles County’s Healthy Way LA. Gloria was able to treat the edema in her legs and made a full recovery and could always be seen smiling in the hall ways to anyone who came her way.
Gloria’s Case Manager at the Illumination Foundation was able to locate an organization that connected undocumented homeless individuals to board and care & assisted living facilities. On March 29, 2016, after 10 years of living on the street, Gloria was able to move into a board and care facility in Hollywood, CA. She is now receiving adequate medical care and is connected to the crucial mental health services that she needed.