Supportive Housing Ends Homelessness –
He was working a steady job and had been there for five years when one day he came home to the worst news a parent can receive. Cleveland’s one-year-old son had been beaten to death by his baby sitter.
“I still feel the chill down my spine every time I think about it,” Cleveland says. Unable to cope with the sadness, he stopped caring about his life.
“I became angry and mad at the world. I turned to alcohol and drugs which caused me to lose everything: my home, my family and I ended up in prison. I could not handle the pain and walked around homeless for many years.”
Cleveland says the turning point in his life was DuPagePads. In addition to basic needs like food and shelter, DuPagePads connected him with a case manager who helped him find counseling to deal with his addictions and inner anger while obtaining the needed medication to stay in a stable mental state.
Cleveland is now clean: no drugs or alcohol. He was reunited with his children and says the best day of his life was the day he opened the door to his DuPagePads Supportive Housing apartment. “I did not believe this could be my life again.”
Last year DuPagePads Supportive Housing program served 115 individuals including 34 children. As a result of continued supportive services, 88% of those individuals have had a place to call “home” for a year or longer.
Homelessness often causes illnesses and makes existing mental and physical illnesses worse. Supportive Housing apartments, like Cleveland’s, improve physical and mental health. This in turn reduces the need for expensive inpatient mental healthcare and hospitalization. Now that Cleveland is in housing and his health has stabilized, he is no longer using emergency rooms or the criminal justice system, which are expensive for taxpayers.
More affordable than housing in state hospitals, prisons or nursing homes, Supportive Housing is an investment in our community. With the proposed state budget cuts, funding for this program is in jeopardy. To learn more about this issue, click here.
As Cleveland can attest, Supportive Housing ends homelessness. “DuPagePads cared about me. They wanted me to get better, for myself and for my other children. My case managers made me want to be a better person,” Cleveland admits.
“Housing is such a blessing. I feel good about providing a home for my children to visit. One of the biggest changes that people notice about me is that I now smile–life is good now. I want to thank DuPagePads for saving my life,” Cleveland says with a smile.