The following is a story from our Mental Health Services program, which serves people with chronic mental illness and who are homeless to live independently in the community.
Albert lived without a home for over 5 yrs. In April 2009, he was enrolled in our PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) program, which addresses the needs of individuals that are homeless, mentally ill, and substance abusers. PATH provides outreach case managers and workers an opportunity to search for homeless individuals throughout the streets of New Orleans, St. Bernard and Jefferson Parish.
The Outreach Team met with Albert and began talking to him, attempting to build a relationship. During the first several meetings, Albert was very shy and quiet, not giving too much information. However, through repeated contact and persuasion, he began talking with staff and befriended them. Albert discussed the death of his mother and family members who tried to take advantage of him for his money. Albert also revealed he was depressed. Staff referred him to a behavioral health clinic.
Albert began treatment and became stable on his medication. He was then referred to our PATH Outreach Case Manager, Ms. Marlene Chandler, to help him with housing and employment. Shortly after being accepted into our Case Management Program, Albert was housed in the Algiers area and was able to obtain a job with Burger King. Currently, Albert is living independently and continues to work different jobs to maintain his independence.