When I met this consumer she was living in squalor in her sister’s basement. She is in her mid-fifties and struggles with depression and anxiety as well as living with a life-long learning disability. She was paying her sister rent but was not allowed to have a key to the home. She stated that she felt like a prisoner. She was given chores to do such as feed her sister’s dogs in a muddy pen where they were kept in the backyard. Her immediate goal was to move, not simply to move to a different house, but to move to another town, away from her sister.
Our CIL was located in this city so I was able to search for an appropriate apartment for her. When I would meet with her I would share photos of different apartments I had taken with my phone. She was curious about different aspects of the photos and would ask a lot of questions. We filled out housing applications together and talked with her payee about what was affordable for her. Finally, I found a nice landlord and an appropriate apartment and she agreed to move into it.
Another ILS and I secured a U-Haul to move her and chose a day to move her from one city to the other. She was very particular and protective of her belongings. She required constant reassurance that everything would be alright. She would often break down about how unhappy she was and how thankful she was to have found a way out of her living situation.
In fact, the six months spent at her sister’s home would haunt her even after moving a whole city away. Once in her new apartment, her mood changed to one of excitement and relief. She was anxious to settle in and finally have a chance to go through her things and also purchase new items for her home. As she sorted through her belongings, she donated several items including a TV and clothing to others she thought might be able to use them. She also wanted to get rid of anything that reminded her of her past with her sister.
Today she is living on her own without aid from her sister, going shopping, decorating her home, enjoying radio and tv programs, and is becoming interested in joining more community activities.