homeless woman


After 1 year, 7 months, 18 days of tremendously hard work, Phyllis now has a room of her own at Centennial Place.

“I just don’t have the words to describe the condition Phyllis was in when she first arrived at Union Station,” says Dorit, a case manager at our Adult Center. “Very few people who knew Phyllis a year ago would have believed she’d ever be able to stay sober and find housing.”

When Phyllis first came to Union Station, she had been living on the streets in chronic homelessness for 30 years. She had a number of severe mental and physical issues that had never been addressed, including schizophrenia with hallucinations. Like many homeless individuals with untreated mental illness, Phyllis had been self-medicating with drugs and alcohol for years.

Luckily for Phyllis, there came a day when she was ready to turn her life around, and she walked through our doors at Passageways. She was received by a team of people who threw their hearts and souls into helping her rebuild her life.

“When I first met Phyllis she was in severe pain, suffering from fear, confusion and internal torment. It took great courage on her part to stay indoors and to surrender to the help of psychiatrists, the HOPE Team, counselors and case managers,” says Hillary, a case manager who has also worked closely with Phyllis. “It was terrifying for her – but she did it!”

Although Phyllis only had 11 days sobriety, she was placed at our Adult Center. Staff at the Adult Center and Pacific Clinics sprung into action, working collaboratively every step of the way to give Phyllis a strong support system. Most importantly, they worked together to address her mental health issues and get her on the right medications.

“The most beautiful, wonderful person that was trapped inside her was suddenly revealed to all of us,” says Dorit, who gets teary when she thinks about how far Phyllis has come.

During Phyllis’ time at the Adult Center, she participated in our onsite 12-step programs, started going to church services and community activities, and reconnected with her sister and mom. Once utterly alone and broken, Phyllis now has an incredible support system that will help her stay on course for the rest of her life. “I thank each and every individual that has had a part in my rehabilitation and recovery”, says Phyllis. “I love every single one of them.”

Today, Phyllis is living in her own apartment at Centennial Place, and is active in the community activities there. “I feel safe and content and so happy,” says Phyllis. “It feels as though I have a new lease on life.”

Phyllis could not have done this alone. And no single individual could have helped her. It took a team. Everyone at Union Station and Pacific Clinics who worked with Phyllis contributed to her success. Our staff is incredibly proud of this amazing success story, and I am humbled and honored to be part of an agency that made such a tremendous impact on a life in need.

“The renewal that has taken place in her spirit and mind is a testimony to human resilience and to grace,” says Hilary. “We’re the lucky ones to have her here at Centennial Place.”

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