Pauline experienced homelessness throughout her life, and physical and mental health challenges made it difficult to maintain stability. She spent the two years before coming to CHN living in her car, working as many temporary jobs as she could and hoping one day, one of those jobs would become permanent. She struggled immensely during this time, saying of homelessness that “it gets to you, mentally and physically.”
Not wanting to spend a third winter in her car, Pauline turned to a local shelter for help. But as available affordable housing in Central Ohio continues to dwindle, homelessness continues to rise and shelters struggle to keep up with demand. She found herself unable to stay in one place for very long, which also made maintaining employment and planning for the future even harder.
Eventually, she was connected with CHN. The day she moved into her apartment she remembers thinking, “I have a place to live; I have a home.” Pauline remembers her first big accomplishment after moving in was applying for Social Security disability benefits, which she began receiving five months later. Now with the help of case managers, she has also been able to get an ADHD diagnosis and a new hearing aid from the Disability Advocacy Alliance. Pauline is continuing to make strides in addressing her mental health issues and has successfully maintained housing with CHN since 2015.