Josiah's Story: Celebrating an Anniversary

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is among the most effective and cost-efficient interventions to ending homelessness in the United States.   PSH combines long-term housing assistance with supportive services to assist families and single adults achieve housing stability.  Since 2007, PSH programs across the US have helped decrease the number of chronically homeless by 26%. 

On May 10 Josiah will celebrate one year of being in his own home. Josiah has schizophrenia.  For many, the disease can have debilitating impacts on relationships with family and friends.  According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 1% of the US population lives with schizophrenia - - - while nearly 20% of the population experiencing homelessness suffers from the disease. 

Prior to coming to HHSI, Josiah lived in conditions many of us could not imagine including in a park, in the bus station and in abandoned buildings.  It took over one year for our HHSI outreach team to build the trust with Josiah necessary to encourage him to move from the streets into the HHSI shelter.  Once at the shelter, it took months for Josiah to adjust to being indoors and stable.

Soon after arriving at the shelter Josiah started working with his Service Coordinator.  Laurie has been with HHSI for 2 years.  Laurie reflects, “It's a privilege and an honor to be a part of his journey as he has worked hard toward his goals, looking forward to watching him grow as he continues on his journey.

Three months after his arrival at the shelter, Josiah agreed to move into his own apartment.  With Laurie’s help, he is managing his medications more effectively.  He is gradually coming out of his shell and volunteering with a neighborhood group, regularly visiting the Figge Art Museum, and working out at the gym.

You will see in our FY18 Annual Report 66 households including 11 children participated in the PSH program.  Since 2007, PSH programs across the US have helped decrease the number of chronically homeless by 26%.