“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones that would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.” (source unknown)
Angel, Well member
Members of The Well Community know these thoughts to be so very true. And being at “home for the holidays” means many different things to our members. Because of stigma, homelessness and other challenges that often come with mental illnesses, some of our members have learned to develop family units with people who understand and share their lived experiences. Some do live with their family of origin, while others live with siblings or with a spouse. And as described below, some live together as members of The Well. Continue reading
After suddenly losing his job over a decade ago, Anthony felt something inside him break. He soon found himself homeless, sleeping in a park or abandoned building. He recalls the street as a place where everyone wants to be somewhere else, but no one knows how to move away from their present situation. Continue reading
So often, the challenges of housing insecurity and the struggles of living with mental illness compound one another. The daily issues faced by those without stable housing situations make it difficult for them to pursue mental health stability; likewise, dealing with a mental health condition can impede their ability to take steps toward more stable living conditions. Housing is truly a foundational issue in addressing the difficulties faced by those living with serious mental illnesses. Continue reading
It’s hard to overstate the weight of poverty in the lives of those dealing with mental illnesses. Poverty can both increase the likelihood that a person will suffer from mental health challenges and make it more difficult for those already living with these struggles to pursue recovery.
Many intertwining factors related to poverty create a tangled cycle for those living with mental health conditions. For example, a serious mental illness can make it difficult for a person to hold down a job. As a result of being out of work, they may be unable to afford healthy food or a bus pass to get to a doctor’s appointment, adding extra hurdles in managing their illness. They may lose their housing, further eroding their ability to pursue stability. And, as they lack the resources necessary to take steps to improve their mental health, they remain unable to work and their condition may become an even greater struggle. Continue reading
As a friend of The Well Community, you know that we serve adults living with chronic and severe mental illnesses. And I hope you have also become aware that, because of those conditions, our members face many daunting and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
In our recent blogs, we have highlighted one of those challenges: homelessness. Nearly all of our members have been without safe and dependable shelter many times in their adult lives. In fact, even now, on any given night, more than a third of our members who attend regularly sleep in doorways, under bridges or just along the side of the road. Continue reading
Residents of Jacob’s House enjoy their backyard
“I love them all,” says neighbor Nancy Templeton from the front porch of Jacob’s House, a place she often finds herself sitting and chatting with the men who live there. A longtime resident of the Oak Cliff neighborhood, Nancy speaks highly of the individuals who live next door. “They’re all great guys,” she says, and as an older woman who no longer drives, she values being able to walk over to the house to talk. Continue reading
A stable, affordable place to live can make a big difference in a person’s ability to pursue recovery while dealing with metal heath challenges. As Mental Health America of Greater Dallas states, “Safe, decent, clean housing is a key factor in recovery for individuals with mental illness.” But, for many, this housing is elusive. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), individuals dealing with mental and/or substance use disorders are often particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless or being precariously housed (they either have no shelter or they live in crowded apartments with friends or acquaintances in untenable situations and move often). Continue reading
Historic homes are being restored and repurposed. New businesses are moving into the area. Restaurants are expanding and the Dallas Trolley is bringing visitors to discover the vibrant Bishop Arts District. These are exciting days for Oak Cliff, and as a lifelong resident, I just smile when I see so much good going on around me.
It’s all happening just blocks from The Well’s Community Life Center and near Jacob’s House. There is a lot of good going on here, too. Continue reading