Linda was 50 and had been living in an unattached garage for 4 years when her chronic lung condition sent her to the emergency room. The hospital social worker connected with Housing Forward’s Street Outreach & Engagement team to see if Housing Forward could help her.
Our Street Outreach Specialist, Jennifer, went to the garage where she was staying to discuss her situation. She learned Linda was living in the garage of her boyfriend’s mother, and they were opposed to their relationship and didn’t know she was living in there. There wasn’t heat other than from a portable heater, she was cooking on a hotplate and mostly food from a can, and she needed oxygen in which to breathe because of her lung condition. She had also been sleeping on cinder blocks layered with blankets for warmth and comfort.
That was in December and by February, with the help of the Housing team at Housing Forward, Linda moved into her own apartment. She recently went back to her doctor and because of her new living conditions her health has improved enough that she no longer needs the oxygen machine and her blood pressure is now under control as well. Her next goal is to get a membership at the local YMCA to renew her love of swimming.
Her case worker, Tiffani, says “Linda is always smiling, regardless of what she is going through. She is so thoughtful, too. She has the use of her boyfriend’s car one day of the week and offered other Housing Forward clients a ride to our housing tenant meeting when they were unable to come on their own. She is so grateful to Housing Forward for how her life has changed.”
Because of Housing Forward and the caseworkers and outreach team, I was able to move out of my friend's garage and into my own apartment. Now, my health has improved enough that I no longer need an oxygen machine.