Yvonne Finds Connection

April 8, 2024

Connection is important to Yvonne. She makes soup for neighbors and watches their pets, and she’s a regular in her community’s walking group. She loves to sit on her porch.

When Yvonne was in high school, she experienced the onset of schizoaffective disorder, but she didn’t know what her symptoms meant. As her illness progressed, she moved to 11 cities in less than two years. Each time she landed in a new city, she would find work with a temp agency in the hope that she could start over. She experienced homelessness several times over those two years.

She met Bryan, who became her partner and roommate, when she came to Charlotte. Their relationship allowed her to stabilize, get healthcare, and learn more about her diagnosis. Then a health crisis placed Bryan in nursing care. Yvonne could not afford their rent on her own, and she became homeless again.

She found her way to Roof Above’s Day Services Center after spending a cold, rainy night in a bus shelter. While drying her clothes, Yvonne met with team members who helped her get a bed at the Salvation Army Center of Hope, a women’s shelter in Charlotte.

Yvonne was grateful to have shelter, but the group setting was challenging because it made her symptoms worse. After five months, Center of Hope case managers teamed up with Bob, our Homeful Housing case manager, to locate a suitable apartment for her. Homeful Housing is one of Roof Above’s permanent supportive housing programs for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

It took Yvonne several months to settle into her apartment, but she is now thriving. She has reconnected with her mom, and she regularly visits Bryan at his nursing home. She has stabilized on her medications, stopped smoking, and lost almost 40 pounds. When asked about her support team, Yvonne says, “Nurse Tia is excellent. Walking and talking with her is a big part of my life. And I really look up to Bob. He is just the best in the world.”

She now realizes that, in all the cities she moved to, she was seeking connection. She says, “I always wanted to have people. I found that with Bryan when I came to Charlotte, and for a while, I thought I lost it. Now I have a home and a community.”

Left to right: Bob, Yvonne and Tia