JT is a 59 year old woman with a dual diagnosis, which includes severe depression. JT first came to MHA’s Homeless Drop-In Center in 2007, where her counselor found her housing at the American Family Housing’s Haven Shelter. After 2 years, due to loss of income, she ended back on the streets, but continued to get the support she needed from MHA. JT began to take business and art classes at a local community college and enrolled in Goodwill’s Back to Work program with the help and encouragement of MHA staff. She was selected by students at Chapman College’s film program to be the subject of a documentary focused on educating others about homelessness. Despite still being homeless, she felt valued and began feeling hopeful about the future.
The Housing Specialist at the MHA Multi-Service Center helped JT secure housing assistance from the Orange County Housing Authority and the Anaheim Housing Authority, which allowed her to finally have an affordable apartment. Things in her life had been so difficult for so long that she couldn’t imagine getting such an opportunity. The Counselor helped her manage her anxiety and depression throughout the process and helped her to remain positive.
The MHA staff gathered a multitude of items to get JT ready for her new home – towels, sheets, food and small appliances. JT moved into her new apartment and is happy that her daughter and grandchildren are able to visit her in a home. She feels grateful to MHA and plans to begin volunteering at the Multi-Service Center facilitating an art group for the members.