George is a grandfather, a veteran, an avid crossword puzzler and an excellent cook. This winter he lost his job, his home and his health. When it rains, it pours.
He was couch surfing at a friend’s after a triple bypass surgery, but the environment wasn’t ideal for recovery. For weeks he had been feeling dizzy and sluggish and it hurt to take deep breaths, but affording a checkup was out of the question. George took a deep breath and called Alaska 2-1-1 because he had heard that they have answers. He listed all the ways he was struggling – no job, no home, poor health.
2-1-1 staff referred George to Homeless Family Services, a program run by Catholic Social Services. Right away, an advocate found him transitional housing where he could begin recovery. Then they located health assistance he couldn’t afford otherwise – he was immediately treated for fluid retention in his lungs, a life-threatening condition. A case manager also assisted him with filing for disability benefits, public assistance, and permanent housing.
Attentive care from staff who recognized all of George’s needs and connected him to the right services when he needed it most probably saved George’s life. It allowed him to begin building his life back, and it gave him another shot at a safe and dignified life.
Currently George is self-sufficient, financially independent, living on his own, and receiving the best possible health care. This outcome was made possible by the collaborative efforts of partners who know that ending homelessness is about addressing all the ways a person is suffering, and providing personalized assistance and follow-up. This is the model United Way, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, the Municipality and dozens of partners are using to address homelessness.
Together we will end homelessness in Anchorage.
Click here to learn more about our work focused on ending homelessness.