We first met Craig in the summer of 2014. Craig was homeless and looking for a place to stay, when he found the CCS homeless shelter. It wouldn’t be Craig’s last time in the shelter…but it would begin a fantastic journey to permanent housing.
Craig had many tumultuous stays at the homeless shelter. From 2014 through 2017 Craig would check into the shelter and within a few days have what he would call a “mental breakdown”. During his mental breakdowns Craig couldn’t function in a way that showed respect towards other shelter guests or staff members. His behavior often leading to his removal from the shelter.
During a particularly rough patch, in the winter of 2017, Craig was staying at the shelter after he had broken his foot. For his broken foot, Craig was prescribed an opioid painkiller. Soon Craig was battling mental breakdowns and a budding opioid addiction. In the midst of his crisis, Craig suddenly became a danger to himself, other residents, and staff at the shelter. Craig was told he would have to find somewhere else to stay. Craig’s path lead to a run-in with local law enforcement and Craig was arrested.
Craig’s arrest was certainly a low-point in his story, but everything would begin to improve from there. After serving his time, Craig was transferred to the substance abuse residential treatment center at the VOA (Volunteers of America) facility in Sheridan. Craig received the therapeutic recovery he needed there. He spent 7 months in a structured and intensive program fighting his opioid addiction and improving his mental health.
Once cleared from the VOA program, Craig was worried about where he would go. Craig reached out to the Council of Community Services and asked if he would be able to utilize the homeless shelter. Craig was of course welcomed back to the shelter and was encouraged to meet with one of our case managers to figure out his next steps.
Craig took the time to share his journey with our case managers and voiced that he was interested in finding stable housing. With Craig’s history of homelessness, he was a prime candidate for the Coordinated Entry System* to help him find a permanent and supportive home. With Craig’s background he rose to the top of the list and did not have to wait long before an opening was available. Craig is now living independently, is free of his addiction, and is in a supportive environment.
*Coordinated Entry involves a detailed interview conducted by case managers. Following the interview eligible individuals are placed upon a statewide priority list to be matched with the next available supportive housing opening in the state.