Success Stories

Peace at Last

A veteran in his mid-50’s entered Trust House from the psychiatric unit at the VA Medical Center after experiencing a psychotic episode due to his paranoid schizophrenia. His life-long struggle with serious mental illness had finally taken its toll and he lost his housing; employment; and all hope for having any peace in the later years of his life. Hopelessness had led to more than one attempt to take his own life. Living in a run-down motel, the veteran had begun drinking to cope with his situation and had completely isolated himself from the world. Once admitted to Trust House, he required two additional psychiatric admissions before his condition stabilized. The Trust House staff, along with the veteran persisted in moving him forward. The persistence paid off and he became stabilized with medication. He reported that at that time, it was the longest period he had experienced without hearing voices since the onset of his illness at age 19. At entry, the veteran had 30% service-connected disability (around $370 a month), after serving for over 20 years in the Navy. With the assistance of the case manager, the veteran pursued an increase in his disability and was awarded 100% service-connected disability (around $2,700.00 per month). After several years of isolation, the veteran began attending groups including life skills; Alcoholics Anonymous; VA Medical Center meetings; and additional dual-recovery care. He moved into a market-rate apartment on discharge after 5 months at Trust House. When asked about the impact of his stay at Trust House, the veteran replied, “This is the best year of my adult life.”

All the Pieces Come Together

A female resident moved into Trust House after being stabilized from a suicide attempt a month before entry. This was the fifth attempt on her life. She was struggling with the challenge of managing her bi-polar disorder, borderline intellectual functioning and substance abuse, with her drug of choice being crack cocaine. Resident had been homeless on and off since 1998 and prior to arriving at Trust House in the spring of 2011, had been continually homeless since July 2010. Over the past 13 years, when not in shelters or living on the street, she was often engaging in prostitution for shelter. Resident reported a lifetime of trauma and abuse, including several relationships marked by domestic violence. During her 4 months at Trust House, the resident made significant and incredible progress. She worked with Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare to obtain treatment for her mental health and substance abuse, completing a 14 week intensive outpatient program. She was also linked to a psychiatrist, individual therapist, case manager and mental health support clinician. Resident obtained SSDI with the assistance of the case manager, which provided her with a stable income and health insurance. After years of neglect, resident began to manage her physical health; became connected to a primary care physician; and received education on diabetes management. She also followed up with dental care and obtained dentures. In the area of finances, resident exited with over $2,000 in savings. She obtained her credit report while at Trust House, resolved her past child support debt, paid on her court fines and called every debtor on her credit report to make payment plans. Resident wanted to “give back” because so many people had helped her so she donated her very long hair to Locks of Love for cancer patients. She transitioned to an apartment through Shelter Plus Care, a permanent supportive housing program. Trust House case manager stated that this was truly a situation where multiple providers worked collaboratively to obtain the best outcome for the client. When asked how Trust House had helped her, resident stated, “You all have shown me that I don’t have to use drugs to deal with all the things that have happened to me. There is another way to live.”

Home at Last

A mother with two children, ages 8 and 15 years old, moved into Trust House from the Rescue Mission. The family had been intermittently homeless for the past 5 years. Once during that period, the family had moved into their own apartment but lost it when mom quit receiving her child support. Mom entered Trust House deeply discouraged at having gained independence only to lose it again. While parenting is challenging with any child, this mother struggled in particular as her 8 year old coped with genetic hearing loss and her 15 year old daughter struggled with serious mental illness. Both children displayed behavioral problems and were devastated at entering shelter life again. During her time at Trust House, mom worked diligently with her mental health workers to better manage her depression and anxiety. She also worked on learning to address her children’s behaviors in an appropriate manner. Her 15 year old daughter began to receive the mental health treatment she so desperately needed. Mom also spent a significant amount of time learning how to be financially responsible. She attended group life skills on this topic as well as getting one-on-one mentoring to develop a manageable budget. Mom was able to enter Shelter Plus Care, a permanent supportive housing program, so that she can better manage housing costs on a fixed income. Mom stated that she was sorry to have lost her housing before but believes that this time she is better equipped to live independently and maintain housing.

Ink Drawing by Trust House Veteran

"I believe in God and I praise the Lord I found the Trust House. I think he put me here and brought us together and I know if he hadn't I'd be dead."

" Everything was good for me while I was here, I've learned a lot, turned my negative ways into positive ways. Trust House helped me get my life back."