Amy’s life did change for the better. Under the care of a psychiatrist, she was able to treat her mental illness and a doctor prescribed her medication to manage her health issues. In 2018, she married her best friend, Matthew, also homeless, and together they pursued a better life, but the lack of access to permanent housing was still an overshadowing issue. Sometimes a park bench was their home.
That all changed in April 2018 when Amy and Matthew were selected to be one of the first residents to move into the Depot at Santiago with assistance provided by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funding administered by the County of Orange. This April marked two years since they left the streets to make a home at the Depot and May was their second wedding anniversary.
“Life is good for us,” says Amy, who cherishes her sobriety and is under the care of a mental health professional. “My health has improved and living here has helped both of us deal with the mental and physical issues that come with homelessness. We have good neighbors and friends and professional support when we need it.”
Another advantage of having a permanent home is that it has opened the door for Amy to be in touch with one of her children, which she is able to do through Skype. “We talk as frequently as possible and it’s bringing us closer,” she says, and looks forward to the day she will be able to talk with her other child when hopefully that door opens.