"Jane" was working a minimum-wage job at a fast food restaurant and living with her mom when her life changed forever in 2001.
One day Jane slipped on an outdoor stairwell on snow-covered ice and seriously injured her back. Working in an industry with few employee benefits and little job security, Jane had to be back on her feet working at full speed ten days after her injury. It was too much, too early, and Jane fell again. This further injured her spine, causing chronic pain, limiting her mobility, and putting her in danger of paralysis if she fell again.
Jane received disability benefits for a few years, but in the process of losing her house to property taxes and taking care of her dying mother, Jane missed a renewal deadline and lost her benefits. She became homeless for the first time in 2003 and has struggled with housing stability ever since. Jane had been staying in shelters continuously for over four years when Sarah's Circle offered her a spot in one of our Permanent Supportive Housing units. After moving in, Jane quickly became happier and healthier, and she continues to work on health and income goals.
Sarah's Circle's Permanent Supportive Housing provides homes for women who struggle with chronic homelessness, meaning they have a disabling condition and have been homeless for years. The model includes intensive case management to keep women housed and empower them to achieve goals of greater health, well-being, and self-sufficiency. The model has been proven to improve individual outcomes and reduce public costs on emergency services, incarceration, and inpatient mental health hospital care. Sarah's Circle currently has 22 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for women facing chronic homelessness.