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John

John found himself without a home, without a job and on the verge of suicide. Each day he walked the streets of Boulder looking for a safe place to sleep for the night. With winter was just around the corner, sleeping outside was soon going to be very dangerous. John needed shelter. Through talking with other individuals on the street John found out about Bridge House’s Severe Weather Overnight Shelter. That night in October 2017 when he walked in the door of Bridge House’s Severe Weather Shelter generously hosted at faith communities, a sense of relief flooded over John. He would be warm and safe for tonight. John slept soundly and in the morning a Bridge House case manager spoke with him asking about his situation and how Bridge House could help.

“I need a place to live,” John said desperately. With compassion and care, the case manager explained to John that Bridge House’s Path to Home program which includes consistent overnight shelter along coupled with housing-focused case management could help. John was scared and out of options, so he agreed to join the program.

Before John ended up struggling on the street, he had a great job in a college admissions office. He was living in his own apartment. He was thriving, stable and working hard to further his career at the college. While John had struggled with mental health issues his whole life, he thought he had a handle on his illness. However, over the years his mental health worsened which led to a full mental breakdown. His condition became so serious that he was unable to work and subsequently lost his apartment.  With nowhere to go, John moved in with his father in order to recover and regain his independence. After a few months living with his father it became unbearable and he had to leave.  When he left, he felt like he had no options and had no hope of ever becoming self-sufficient again.

Finding himself on the streets was the lowest point in John’s life. Extreme depression set in and he was completely lost.

“I thought there was no way out. I thought I would die on the street until I met Einav my case manager at Path to Home.”

Together Einav and John worked to create his comprehensive housing-focused navigation plan. John worked diligently following his plan and began to feel like there was a way out of homelessness. Part of John’s navigation plan was to connect with Boulder’s mental health resources. After John was on the right medication his life began to turn around.  John’s case manager helped him apply for the Rapid Rehousing assistance funds available through Boulder County  that would help him fund his deposit and the first month’s rent on a new apartment. His income through his job would cover the rest. Einav assisted John with his apartment search, standing by him every step of the process, and he was able to find a two bedroom available at the Nest apartment complex.  

“It was miraculous to see the change in John’s outlook on life,” Einav remembers. “From the day John began the Path to Home program, he put his navigation plan into action and his determination to change his circumstance was powerful to watch.”

After John found his new apartment, he began to look for a roommate and a graduate of Bridge House’s Ready to Work program was also searching for an apartment and a roommate as well. The case managers made the connection and John happened to already know Rob, the Ready to Work graduate, so they both agreed to move in together.  Bridge House was able to help them with some furnishings and beds for their new apartment.

John told Einav his case manager, “I really am thankful for all you all have done and continue to do for me. I greatly appreciate it. All things are working for the good. I haven’t had this much support before, and I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, but dang I feel good. “

  Change is possible and every day Bridge House case managers see amazing results from their clients. They come to work motivated to end homelessness one person at a time. John is just one example, one individual, who was offered an opportunity and he took it. At Bridge House, we see many clients like John who are struggling and just need an opportunity. That opportunity sparks hope and that hope breeds transformation. John’s transformation happened because he was serious about changing his life and Bridge House was there to support him along the way.

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