James was persistent in connecting with her and despite the challenging behavior, treated her with dignity and respect. Sometimes James brought warm meals, or tended to her laundry, or offered to connect her to other services. His ongoing gestures became the foundation of trust that ultimately resulted in Tina agreeing to come to Connections’ office to take a hot bath.
As simple as a bath sounds, it was a significant step forward in helping to move Tina closer to the path of a safe, stable home. James continued to work with her and navigate the cumbersome process to access a permanent supportive housing spot.
While in the process, Tina relocated and began living at the front door of Connections. James and other Connections’ staff and volunteers continued to offer all the basic necessities she needed to be as healthy and safe as possible while living on the street.
When a permanent supportive housing spot opened at our partner agency, Impact Behavioral Health, James took the lead on helping Tina develop a relationship with Impact’s team. As both organizations worked to find a safe, accessible unit for Tina, James continually provided his expertise and support to encourage the relationship between Impact and Tina.
Last month, just before the Chicago winter weather arrived, Tina moved into her home. This wouldn’t have been possible without James’ work. His determination and resilience, along with his genuine compassion and empathy for the people we serve, helped end more than 3 years of homelessness for Tina. Through James’ work, he exemplifies our core values and makes it possible for us to end homelessness, one person at a time.