One in a periodic series of posts about our residents who are finding help, hope and solutions at Greensboro Urban Ministry.
When Ross* arrived at Weaver House shelter, the 34-year-old paced the lobby, talking to himself intently. He came into the shelter in October 2015. Weaver House Director Michael Pearson and the staff quickly noticed that Ross received disability checks, but his money was spent in days.
Ross would sometimes buy things — like three cell phones at once, and lose two of them. Or give them away. Sometimes, he gave his money away, too.
Ross, who came to Greensboro from New York, had bounced from place to place for at least a year before arriving at Weaver House. Ross has diagnosed disabilities, including paranoia and schizophrenia.
He started working with case manager Brandi Teetor. She, Michael and other staff members worked to get to know Ross. “What’s going on?” was soon followed with conversations. “As we shared more about ourselves, he began to open up,” Michael says.
Brandi and Michael identified key areas where Ross needed help. They talked with him and agreed to a plan. Brandi accompanied him to the doctor, where Ross’ meds were reviewed and revised. This stabilized his condition and helped him have greater clarity in his decision making. Next, with the doctor’s advisement, Brandi was able to secure a payee for Ross to manager his monthly bills. Together, they came up with a budget.
With Ross able to manage his money with assistance, Brandi was able to secure housing. Ross was able to move into his own home this spring. Brandi continues to provide case management support, and the Beyond GUM program continues to provide financial support for Ross as he gets settled into his first home in a long time. And sometimes, he still calls Michael or drops by the shelter, just to visit.
Ross is living at 2130 Everitt, an apartment complex in East Greensboro offering affordable housing for those who are moving from homelessness to permanent housing. Twelve of the 16 tenants moved there from Weaver House shelter or Pathways Center for families. They began working with our Beyond GUM case managers shortly after arriving. Beyond GUM case managers will continue to work with these clients, and GUM will continue to provide financial support. Read more about this project in the News & Record article from May 21, 2016 by reporter Nancy McLaughlin.
This is how your donations to GUM are at work in our community. Together, we are making a real difference in the lives of those who most need us. Thank you!
*Sometimes, our clients prefer not to be photographed, or that we use their real name. Their privacy is important to us, and we respect that right.