He Never Gives Up

May 30, 2024

Mr. Faulkner treasures a drawing his son made years ago. In the drawing, Mr. Faulkner is wearing a cape because he was his son’s hero. His son still has the picture. When a girlfriend asked him about it, he said, “My dad never gives up.”

Mr. Faulkner experienced homelessness for more than twenty years. Substance use and mental health issues made it hard for him to keep jobs and pay rent on his own. He bounced between shelters, jail, detox and friends’ couches.

Just four years ago, Mr. Faulkner was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression. He says, “I didn’t learn about myself until real late in life.” He was relieved to learn that there were medications that could help him, but it was hard to take them regularly while he was on the street. He also manages high blood pressure, arthritis, and gout.

Eventually, he was matched with Homeful Housing. Homeful Housing is one of Roof Above’s permanent supportive housing programs for people experiencing chronic homelessness. His first housing case manager, Shawnte, says, “Mr. Faulkner has faced so many obstacles, but he just kept going. He is a survivor.”

Of all of Roof Above’s permanent supportive housing tenants, 66% self-report a mental illness.

Mr. Faulkner is grateful to be housed. He has reconnected with his mother, son, and grandson. It’s much easier for him to stay on his medications. He says, “I’m not used to all this help. Even though I’m indoors, I’ve got to learn not to live like I’m outdoors.”

As his health has improved, so has his outlook. Shawnte says, “Mr. Faulkner is a great example of how Housing First works. He couldn’t solve all his problems with nowhere to sleep.”