Thanks to the generosity from CFC donors like you, Touchstone Mental Health is able to provide services for over 1,600 each year. Your support helps someone, like Sherry, come to Touchstone looking for help to find and keep an apartment and meet their basic needs.
Sherry hit the streets on a frigid winter night after her life was threatened. She wandered the streets hoping a car would hit her and end her misery. Fortunately, she found a shelter who let her stay the night, even though they were full.
Sherry was used to being homeless. Her family was frequently homeless and moved over 28 times. Because her family moved so often, she never made close friends and felt isolated.
“My mother did her best,” said Sherry, “but it was tough taking care of seven children.” Sherry’s life was chaotic and unstable. “I’ve struggled with mental illness and my emotions most of my life, she said. “I experienced violence on the streets. My life was one big ball of trauma”.
Sherry lived on the streets and in shelters until she was referred to Touchstone’s Housing Innovation Program. Housing staff learned she didn’t have a bed and other items to start over. They helped her get an apartment and used Touchstone’s Basic Needs Funds to pay for personal and apartment essentials.
Sherry has lived in her apartment for over a year and enjoys making it a vibrant, green space with lots of plants. She participates in Touchstone gatherings and helps by cooking meals and leading socialization activities. Recently, she led an activity on making a vision board. Sherry’s vision board inspires her to stay on track with her medication as she has learned they help with her mental health symptoms.
Sherry says, “Touchstone staff help me problem solve and give me a helping hand. They helped me take control of my life and support my safety and healing”. “Taking care of myself has never been easy,” she says, “but I’ve learned that I have to take care of myself first in order to grow.”
Most of us go through the day never thinking about our shampoo, toothpaste, having a coat or shoes that fit us or taking prescribed medications. All too often, people in our programs must use their coat for a blanket or decide how often they can afford to test their blood sugar or wash their clothes. These necessities, which most of us take for granted, are critical for health and self-esteem.
A gift to Touchstone comes a long way. As we move toward the fall and colder months, you can make a gift that is truly needed. A gift to our Basic Needs Fund.