Steve spent his days and nights in a tent near a train stop for almost a decade before members of Fourth Street Clinic and Volunteers of America, Utah’s homeless outreach teams were able to connect him to treatment and resources. Living outside meant Steve was exposed to the extremities of both Utah summers and freezing winters along with the hazards of life on the street. After years of living outdoors and at nearly 65 years old, Steve was in good physical health, but he was suffering from schizophrenia which kept him from seeking help from local homeless service providers.
Steve agreed to meet a team member from The Road Home’s Chronically Homeless Service and Housing (CHSH) program in the spring of 2012. A case manager met with Steve in local parks until he felt comfortable coming into the department office. Steve loved chili and fresh fruit and began to look forward to meetings with our team members and receiving a bag of his favorite foods. Steve shared more of his personal history as he became more comfortable with our CHSH team. He agreed to begin the process of applying for identification documents and housing.
As Steve’s relationship with our CHSH strengthened case managers showed him a few apartments he was qualified for. While he was initially hesitant to take the next step towards housing, our team found an apartment he felt comfortable in and helped Steve move in. On moving day, Steve was nervous and excited. He insisted on caring his new recliner up three flights of stairs and into his new home. With every visit since then, Steve opens the door to our CHSH team members with a bright smile on his face and welcomes them into his new home.
Steve’s success would not have been possible without strong partnerships between the Fourth Street Clinic, Volunteers of America, Utah and The Road Home. These partnerships help provide the diverse services needed to help chronically homeless individuals and families return to stable housing. Success stories like Steve’s are the goal of 100,000 Homes: Salt Lake City campaign. The Road Home is honored to be a partner in this campaign and we feel fortunate to see success, like Steve’s, every day.