Moving Up – Stories from the Lighthouse
The Lighthouse is always a very busy place but as we begin to anticipate a new calendar month, the Lighthouse swings into high gear. Rent needs to be paid, some tenants move out, new tenants move in, tenants may switch towers, and new programming classes begin. As we reflect on what happened in August, I wanted to share a quick success story.
The Transitional Housing Floor has been operating on Upper First in the Dube Tower for a little over a year. Tenants who live on Upper First have a higher level of supports, must plan to attend at least two classes a week, and faithfully take their medication, all with the goal of improving their mental health and helping them retain housing.
One of the first tenants who moved onto the floor had been staying in the emergency shelter for many months. They had repeatedly lost housing due to severe mental health issues, including yelling at invisible strangers on street corners. After moving into their newly renovated suite on the Transitional Living Floor, immediate improvements began to be made in the person’s demeanour. A combination of medication, learning coping skills, and routine, allowed them to take control of their life. They joined our work training program and helped clean the women’s emergency shelter.
As the one-year anniversary of their stay neared, a room became available in our affordable housing tower. They transitioned to living much more independently but still being able to access supports if needed and stay within the Lighthouse community. In August, they were hired on at a gas station and received their first pay check in many years. What an amazing transformation!