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Removing the Barriers of Homelessness

Randy was about 43, living on the streets, and suffering from severe mental illness. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was ignored by most people because he was dirty and hard to approach. He would stand outside and sob uncontrollably, screaming and yelling at the voices in his head. He felt lost and hopeless.

Many of us have walked right past someone like Randy on the streets. But Volunteers of America did not give up on him. Randy’s case manager asked him why he was not taking his medications, and Randy replied, “I don’t like to swallow pills.” Once they knew what was holding him back, the staff went to work, patiently helping him learn to take his medication regularly. They found out that Randy loves chocolate milk, so the staff taught him to grind up his pills and take them with his milk. Randy was stabilized within 3 weeks!

With help from people like you and a lot of work from Randy, he began to live a balanced life. Today, he lives in his own apartment, pays rent, and is going to school. He lives as a community asset rather than a liability.

Volunteers of America has found that it is not enough simply to give someone a warm meal. Rather, we work to remove the barriers that led to homelessness in the first place, helping our clients to leave poverty behind for good. By providing individuals with the tools and resources to be self-sufficient, you help us strengthen our community as a whole. Thank you for joining us in our mission.