Jacob’s House is situated on a tree-lined street in Oak Cliff. From the outside it looks like the other older homes in the neighborhood, with a large porch and a fenced front yard. On pleasant days, several men gather outside to “shoot the breeze,” play card games or wave at passersby. There is a comfortableness among them—a sense that they are at home. And they are.
However, for most of the seven who live at The Well Community’s boarding home for men, Jacob’s house has become home only after years of living on the street or in a series of substandard boarding houses. 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
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