Lamont stopped by the office to talk with his case manager and proudly showed off the new car that he had recently bought. His fiancée was with him with a beautiful engagement ring on her finger. He talked about his position at a local warehouse where he is the supervisor with 50 employees reporting to him. Humbly, he confirmed that he has been clean and sober since 2014 and is reconnected with his family.
He looked remarkably different from the man who had initially interviewed to stay at Hilda’s Place Shelter. At the time, Lamont had a good work history with a tremendous level of experience in his family’s business, but he also had a history of violence and substance abuse. He was, actually, awaiting a court date for sentencing on an assault charge. Everything started to change for the better when, during the initial interviews and meetings at Hilda’s Place, he finally admitted that he heard voices. Lamont had been hearing voices for 30 years and told no one. He tried quieting the voices and the violence that “they” elicited with drugs and alcohol. The unpredictable violence and addiction were the cause of his separation from family, lost employment, and homelessness.
The day that he shared his mental health secret and trusted someone with that reality was the day that he was able to start getting his life back. Lamont was referred to the psychiatrist on site at Connections, was diagnosed, and was able to receive the right medication that finally silenced the voices. A staff advocate accompanied him to his court date (more than once), making a plea to the judge that helped him receive drug rehab and a spot in a halfway house in lieu of jail time.
What if Lamont had never spoken up and told the truth about his struggles? What if the judge hadn’t been willing to offer an alternative sentence? Connections created the opportunities for these critical pivot points in Lamont's life to go the right way. We helped Lamont to change the questions to positives. What if Lamont had the medication he needed and advocacy he needed to regain employment and stable housing? When Lamont stopped by the office; we saw the amazing answer.