Carol, one of our clients in Open Door Housing, has been chosen to take part in a panel discussion in Washington D.C. about mental illness and the role healthcare and community supports play in treating the disease. The panel will be part of a presentation to the Congressional Black Caucus, an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Carol will be speaking on behalf of Illinicare, Illinois' Medicaid provider.
When Carol came to Housing Forward, she was struggling to maintain stability in her life while battling mental illness. She was connected to a case manager in the Support Center, who helped her develop an action plan. Her case manager also connected her with the housing team, who determined that Carol was eligible for Open Door Housing. Once Carol was approved to move in, her housing case manager began working to get her connected to other community resources to stabilize her. One of these resources was our Job Developer, Betsy, who works with employers and training programs to provide employment opportunities for our clients. After meeting with Carol, Betsy referred her to the Easter Seals' Job Training program, where Carol learned and gained experience in childcare.
After completing training, Carol found a part-time job as a Youth Outreach Worker at a local church. Through this position, Carol supervises a group of children (ages 5-13) and coordinates after-school and summer activities for the group. This role is perfect for Carol, who also has a grandchild who serves as her motivation to continue improving her life. We are extremely proud of Carol's progress, and are looking forward to her sharing her experiences with a group of lawmakers.