How important is it to feel safe? For Yvette, it’s the most important thing. As a person living with mental health and substance abuse issues as well as domestic violence, Yvette found herself in situations where she felt anything but safe. “I was doing really well for a while, I had the money I needed, paid all my bills,” said Yvette. But then, multiple life events happened including the loss of her relationship, her home, and her truck. “I had a nervous breakdown,” she reports. Homeless, scared, and hospitalized multiple times for her mental health issues, Yvette started the difficult road of recovery.
“I don’t know if people know how many services are out there for people if you are struggling,”
Yvette credits Hopeworks, a local homeless organization, for helping her get housed. “They had a program where they paid my deposit and first three months of rent. My life changed from there.” The rest, she said, was up to her. With a roof over her head, Yvette found a way to get the rest of her life in order. With therapy, she has been able to manage her mental health while staying sober and drug free. “I am working on all my issues. I was able to get a fresh start.”
Yvette has been stably housed for over three years at one of GAHP’s affordable apartment communities. She pays no more than 30% of her income on rent, which makes it possible for her to afford all her other expenses. “This is the first place I have ever lived by myself. I love it, I feel safe here,” she says.
“It’s been so good to have a place of my own. I got myself a dog too! I love to decorate for myself, I was able to really make this apartment my own. I love it – it’s all mine.”
While Yvette takes advantage of the enrichment services provided by GAHP such as the food pantry and exercise classes, what she appreciates the most are the people. “The people make me happy. I’ve made very good friends here. I feel so safe – and I’ve never felt safe anywhere.”