Community Housing Network helps make a difference in the lives of people like Jennifer and Harry. Read their stories and see how CHN has made a positive impact on their lives by providing a stable environment through supportive housing.
Harry's Supportive Housing Story
In a life challenged with severe mental illness, there have been many lows for Harry. Perhaps, the most striking occurred when he was living outdoors in Columbus. "In the springtime, I would hear the helicopter overhead and they sprayed for mosquitoes," Harry said.
As the suffocating fog descended, he thought, "If it kills mosquitoes, what's it going to do to me"?
Schizophrenia took away Harry's home and career as a computer programmer, but it never robbed him of his dignity.
Although uprooted by homelessness and illness, Harry's life is a success. He has lived in Community Housing Network apartments for 15 years, holding a CHN lease longer than any other tenant.
"CHN has been very accepting. It's wonderful to not worry what the landlord will think if they know you have schizophrenia," Harry said. "The other persons in the building have mental handicaps also and that gives me some comfort."
Before the illness struck, Harry earned multiple college degrees and served as a minister and Latin teacher. Now he lives quietly at home. "I attend the CHN annual picnic as a place to go to mix socially with people who won't look down on you because you have a mental illness," Harry said.
Harry keeps occupied by playing a small keyboard, using his computer, and sending letters to friends and relatives. Harry volunteers for CHN, helping tenants with their resumes and other support. "There's nothing I could do to prevent the illness, and I certainly didn't want it," Harry said. "Even though I have a strike against me, it's nice to know that you have a purpose in life."