Leslie came to Steadfast House in a state of homelessness brought on by mental and physical health issues. While she was in a behavioral health facility, Leslie’s social worker told her about Steadfast House and encouraged her to add her name to the waiting list of more than 300 women and children. Leslie knew she could not begin to rebuild her life while homeless.
“While I was being evaluated, a social worker reviewed all the Steadfast House program information with me and encouraged me to add my name to the waiting listing,” she said. “She told me to make sure that I called each week to keep my name on the list. I truly believe it was God who opened the way for me to come to Asheville after all I had been through previously.”
When a place opened at Steadfast House, Leslie moved in and began her rebuilding process. Working with her case manager, Leslie first addressed multiple physical concerns, and then found long-term outpatient care for mental and emotional issues. Once stable, she was able to connect with social services such as Medicaid, food stamps and legal aid. To do all those things in the unstable homeless environment, and without transportation, was extremely difficult for Leslie. But the stability she found at Steadfast House allowed her to address these issues on her own time and with the support of her case manager.
Leslie has returned to school at A-B Tech to study graphic design. She is also training to become a peer support specialist. She believes it was God who brought her to Asheville and Steadfast House after all she had been through.
“Steadfast House was the ‘life jacket’ thrown out to me when I very much needed it the most,” she said. “I had ministered to homeless folks when I lived in Georgia but now I have some empathy of how really far one slides down into a sand pit and struggles to get out. Steadfast House has boosted me up onto solid, fertile ground where I can now plant my new life.”
Women like Leslie will soon have Transformation Village, ABCCM's vision to end homelessness, as a new "life jacket" of sorts. Click here for more information about ABCCM's vision to end homelessness for women, children and families in Buncombe County.