Home is such an important foundation for anyone, and especially someone living with severe mental illness. That’s why we must make sure it’s safe!
At North Coast Community Homes, we’ve been able to provide stability and a second chance for many. The key to that second chance has been a place to call home.
On Kenmore Boulevard in Summit County, there is a four-unit home for people coping with severe mental illness. It’s a safe place that allows them to access care, and provides the stability and peace of mind that only a safe, clean home can give. Each of the four people in that home has their own story and each of them would tell you that having this safe, comfortable place they can call home has been life-changing.
One young man, who we’ll call Adam, to protect his privacy, became a resident in our home this year. In addition to living with his mental illness, Adam had been living on and off the streets for years. He was in a desperate situation made even worse. No address meant no alarm clock, which meant missed doctor’s appointments. No address meant nowhere to receive mail, which meant no health insurance. No health insurance and missed doctor’s appointments meant no medications. No medications meant it was impossible to escape the symptoms of mental illness. And so, the heartbreaking cycle continued. Adam is doing so much better now with the help of North Coast Community Homes. Having the opportunity to start fresh in a clean safe apartment has helped his mood and given him some of the tools he needed to re-engage with medical care. Our homes aren’t just for people in transition, however. Like Adam, both of the ladies in the building had experienced homelessness as well. And one, who we’ll call Barb, has called her unit “home” for over 10 years! It’s allowed her to have enough stability that she now has her own car and can engage in the community, and even gain employment.
The building on Kenmore has an important back entrance/exit. Prior to our purchase of the building, there was an old fire-escape on the back that was replaced with a built wooden landing and staircase. It was a solution we inherited, and maybe not the best one. Regardless, the upper level is past its life expectancy.
Replacing the stairs and decking is high on our priority list. We’ve put so much into making sure Adam, Barb, and others are safe that we cannot and will not risk their wellbeing on stairs that aren’t sound and safe. It’s more than just replacing a few stairs or slats, however. The entire structure needs to be rebuilt, which has an estimated price tag of $35,000.
We’re asking for your help. Can you chip in $20, $50, or even $500 to help? If you’re someone who has the means to give more, we’d welcome that as well. But please know, every dollar helps.