Before getting my own place through Supportive Housing I was living on the street and in survival mode. I was panhandling and living in shelters overnight. During the day I was out on the street by 6:00 a.m., trying to figure out where to get food, hanging around, and getting into stuff I shouldn’t get into.
Before all this happened I had a nice life, I had a good job, was raising my kids. Because of issues with mental illness and substance abuse, I made some choices that precipitated me becoming homeless. I lost my family. I had no friends. I was on a roller coaster, masking my mental health issues with substance abuse. As I grew older, I realized I didn’t want to live like this anymore and started to seek out help. I had to go through some serious case management and intense therapy to deal with all of this.
When my case manager first asked if I was ready to live in an apartment, I said no. I doubted my ability to live on my own. But finally I agreed and got connected to housing through Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico. It was so overwhelming to look at places to live but I finally got my own place. I am now so much more independent. I cook my own food (and I am a damn good cook!), pay my own bills, and keep all my appointments. I get to do things with family and friends – I can have fun and come back home. I have gotten the trust of my family back because I am in a stable place. My grandkids come to visit me. And now my house is not just a place to live, they (the grandkids) have turned it into a home. When I put my key in the door, I am home, and that is a great feeling. – Harold B.