From the Perspectives Newsletter: Nancy’s New Beginning

Nancy moves into apartment, reconnects with family with Places for People’s help

From the Fall/Winter 2015 Newsletter

St. Louis and the nation was captivated by “Life on the Streets,” the story of William Hayes and Chris Long’s night of homelessness which aired in May on ESPN. The video featured two St. Louis Rams defensive ends initially posing as homeless individuals who eventually reveal themselves and agree to help two people, Martin and Nancy, who they met in an abandoned building.

The video ended with Nancy moving into a hotel paid for by Hayes and Long. You may wonder what happened to Nancy since filming ended.

In April, Places for People connected with Nancy. Places for People outreach specialist Linda Alexander visited with Nancy and told her about services available. Following their initial conversation, Linda brought her to Places for People where a comprehensive assessment was completed, and they started the paperwork necessary for Nancy to establish proper identification and also regain her birth certificate.

Nancy was homeless for two years. “It’s a struggle, it’s no kind of life for anyone,” she said.

After being introduced to Places for People, Nancy began meeting with a Places for People psychiatrist and started taking the medications necessary to treat her mental illness. Her treatment team also scheduled an appointment for Nancy with a primary care physician at the Family Health Care Centers primary care site at Places for People.

Nancy was then assigned to one of the 21 community support and treatment teams providing services at Places for People. Nancy’s team, the Action team, immediately began working with Nancy to define her treatment goals. One of her first goals was to find a safe, affordable, and permanent place to live. The Action team found her a home through the non-profit organization, “Changing Lives Today,” and she moved into her apartment in late May.

Nancy visits with the members of the Action team daily, and together they continue to work on her recovery goals.

She reconnected with family members for the first time in three years, and recently started working temporary jobs.

Her team helped her start Medicare benefits, and she connected with a dentist who is working pro bono on dental issues.

Nancy said, “My goal is to move back to Southern Illinois where I grew up to be with my children. I miss them very much.”