Jackie’s life in recent years has been much different from what she’s used to. After spending five years in jail, Jackie was released with nowhere to go. Going from jail to homeless, Jackie found herself somewhere she’d never been before…in need of help.
Released from jail Jackie was taken to a shelter where she was told she could stay for 30 days. It wasn’t the help she was hoping for, but it was a start. Jackie didn’t have a source of income and being over the age of 50 with a chronic health condition her job prospects weren’t looking good. Still Jackie continued to search for a job so she could save money to afford her own place and regain her independence. Jackie’s job search had to happen on foot because she didn’t have transportation, luckily it was early May and the weather was friendly.
After a long day of job searches, Jackie was tired and worn out. While at a shelter for the evening she was walking down the stairs when she stumbled and fell. Jackie’s fall broke her hip and sent her to Campbell County Memorial Hospital.
In Gillette, Jackie received the care she needed to heal her hip. She’d gone from jail, to shelter, to hospital, and now found herself back where she started…with nowhere to go. From the hospital, Jackie was released with orders to recover and referred to the Council of Community Services (CCS).
Jackie checked into the homeless shelter at the CCS and shared her journey with a staff person that evening. Hearing her story, and realizing Jackie was in no condition to look for a job right now staff recommended that Jackie meet with one of the CCS case managers in the morning.
“One day at a time”
Jackie was quick to make arrangements and her meeting was scheduled. Jackie was getting more and more worried about how she would provide for herself. She had no source of income, was battling a chronic health condition, and now was trying to recover from a broken hip. Jackie could feel her independence slipping and wasn’t sure she’d ever get it back. Jackie kept telling herself to take things one day at a time.
At her meeting with a CCS case manager, Jackie was told she may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Having worked for most of her life and now battling a chronic health condition, it seemed like a good fit. Jackie was anxious to start the paperwork process which involves hours of detailed work, medical, and personal histories.
Initially the application for SSDI was going smoothly. However, Jackie and her CCS case manager soon hit a snag. Jackie was having a hard time locating and requesting all the medical history paperwork she needed to include. After a paperwork road block, her application for SSDI was denied.
Jackie was devastated
Jackie was devastated. Her and her case manager had spent so much time working on her application. It was nearing winter and Jackie was tired of staying at the Homeless Shelter. She had met some people along the way and moved in with friends hoping to catch a break.
A few months later, in early spring Jackie returned to CCS -longing for her own place- wondering if she could re-apply for SSDI. Jackie was told she was welcome to re-apply but her case manager worried about her being able to get to CCS to work on the application. Jackie didn’t have transportation of her own.
Jackie had sought services from another organization and wondered if they might be able to help her get to her appointments. With some coordination, Jackie would now have transportation when she needed it and someone at CCS to help her with her application. The ball was rolling again.
This time with reliable transportation and a complete medical history, Jackie felt much more confident about her SSDI application. Her application was quickly completed and now all she had to do was wait and see. Jackie desperately wanted her independence back and was itching for a place of her own.
Building a life she can be proud of
Just last week, Jackie got word that her application for SSDI had been approved! Jackie would now have a stable base to build her independent life from. After jail and homelessness Jackie is very much looking forward to building a life she can be proud of. Jackie is excited and is eagerly working with her CCS case manager to find a place she can call her own.