“Mark” has struggled with alcoholism and drugs throughout his life. His addictions disrupted relationships with his family and close friends and eventually led to his homelessness. He lived life on the streets, sleeping near neighborhood sidewalks and bus stops. He continuously tried to find his way out of homelessness but ended up at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
Mark came into the shelter fighting for his sobriety and was pro-active in his approach to change. Mark thrived using the client service plan that he established with his Cornerstones Case Manager. He began to attend weekly AA meetings, as well as apply for numerous jobs. He did not give up on his journey, even after several rejections. His Case Manager continued to encourage and believe in him. Mark finally landed a full-time tech support job and found housing. Mark continues to maintain his sobriety and a healthy life style today.
“Joseph” is a single father and businessman with a PhD. He was running the family’s pharmaceutical business, but ran into financial difficulties. Joseph had to file for bankruptcy and watch his family’s valuables be sold at auction. With very limited support and unable to secure any housing, Joseph and his family found themselves living at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
Joseph and his family worked diligently with their Cornerstones Case Manager to address and obtain mainstream benefits, employment and housing. A manageable housing option became available and the family was finally able to move out of the shelter. Joseph has been successfully maintaining his new housing and employment for the past six months, and his family has gained a fresh new start.
Four-year-old “Jake” entered Cornerstones’ Laurel Learning Center (LLC) while living with his mom at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. Jake had never been to a pre-school. He had not learned letters or numbers or shapes and was at a disadvantage academically to other children in his class. Jake took his frustrations out on everyone around him. He suffered from low self-esteem, traumatized by losing his father, being homeless, and not having the advantages of other children raised in a home where parents can afford the time and money to invest in their children.
Cornerstones’ staff worked with Jake’s mom to get her into housing and to find a job. Jake’s teacher worked hard to get him ready emotionally, socially, and academically for kindergarten. Jake’s confidence began to soar. The unique, customized care LLC staff provides to their students means that children like Jake, whose little lives are impacted by trauma, aren’t labeled and isolated, but loved and better equipped for the future.
Cornerstones’ staff first met “Camden” through the drop-in service at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter for clients who live outdoors in cars or other places unsafe for human habitation. Camden struggles with mental development challenges, a limited education and no family support. His health and homelessness have aged him well beyond his years. It was during his visit to Cornerstones’ Hypothermia Shelter that the staff noticed Camden seemed tired and “grumpy.” Homelessness was taking its toll on him. Camden’s circumstances suggested a future of challenges, many of them life-threatening.
Because of the supportive environment of the Hypothermia Shelter and the work of Cornerstones’ staff over the years, Camden has come to accept help. While remaining cautious and many times still fearful, Camden no longer wants to be homeless. Cornerstones and its partners remained dedicated to helping Camden overcome the circumstances that led to his homelessness and facilitate his transition to stable housing. Camden has successfully moved into housing and is receiving regular counseling and supportive services.