Since the launch of Mission Services’ Housing UP! Program in January 2020, 185 individuals experiencing homelessness have been able to find and maintain safe, affordable housing, including people like Glen.
After suffering a sports-related injury, Glen struggled with addiction and homelessness for nearly 15 years. As a result, he lost two homes, two marriages, and seemingly, all hope, until he accessed Mission Services’ Housing UP! Program.
About two years ago, Glen realized he needed to turn his life around. After arriving at Mission Services, the Housing UP! staff worked with Glen to coordinate government assistance to help him manage some of the health and financial issues that he was facing. With help from his Case Manager, Glen was able to move into his first rooming home in September 2020 and then into a bachelor apartment of his own a few months later. “A lot of housing programs just find the housing, whereas our program supports individuals for up to two years – making sure they have the appropriate supports in place to be successful,” says Glen’s Case Manager, Ericka.
Housing UP! staff work with housed and unhoused individuals from all across the city, not just those who access Mission Services. Case Managers, such as Erika, provide assistance throughout the entire process, rehousing individuals as needed and connecting them to community resources to ensure they do not re-enter the homelessness system. Through regular check-ins and visits, Case Managers are able to build strong relationships with individuals in the program, helping them to develop life skills and access other resources they need to maintain a healthy and stable lifestyle on their own. “We want to assist individuals in the program as much as we can so they eventually outgrow the program and outgrow what we, as Case Managers, can do for them,” Ericka explains.
“My bad days now are way better than what my GOOD days were two years ago,” Glen remarks. Thanks to the Housing UP! Program and support from his Case Workers, Glen has recently started his Social Service Worker Diploma at Mohawk College. “If it weren’t for Mission Services, I wouldn’t be going to school,” says Glen. “I want to help others who are facing the same struggles I once was, and show them that they can be successful too,” he continues. Glen feels healthier than ever and happy to be living close to where he grew up and only a 10-minute walk from his two sons. This past month, Glen celebrated one full year of sobriety!