For 35 years, St. Patrick Center has quietly operated a program for a group of clients needing the most care: women struggling with homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse. The Women’s Night Program, consisting of a day treatment program and overnight care, has guided hundreds of women through their fears, on to their goals, and in to permanent supportive housing. This is a sensitive population. Here is one story:
She showed up on our doorstep, not sure what she needed. She said she was fine but case managers could see that she was battling mental illness. We placed her in our Shamrock Club day treatment program and she started showing up for programs and services. At night, she stayed at a nearby shelter.
Case managers never gave up on recruiting her to the Women’s Night Program, which culminates for clients in permanent supportive housing. More than once, they thought they had her signed up, but in her mental illness, she was a no show.
Shelter stays don’t last forever, though. Within time, she could see that the Women’s Night Program was her best option, so she enrolled. Structure was her next obstacle. She didn’t like following rules, making decisions, socializing with others. That’s when St. Patrick Center did what we do best – provided patient, unending care and concern. Case managers taught her how to live with structure, make decisions, and other necessary life skills.
As she progressed, it was time to seek out a housing referral, followed by an apartment. She struggled along the way – making excuses, remaining noncommittal. Her case management team persisted and eventually, she willingly moved into an apartment. She’s in caring hands now, with our permanent supportive housing team providing wrap-around support.
How much time has passed since she first came to St. Patrick Center? Two years. As one case manager said, “Every day was a battle but today is the victory, the reason – she’s home.” Another life saved; independence and peace gained.