Real Story: Jessel-Paul S.
How Vinfen’s Young Adult Shared Apartment Program Helped Me
My name is Jessel-Paul S. and I am a member of Vinfen’s Young Adult Shared Apartment Program. This program has improved my life over the past one and a half years. It has allowed me to cope with my debilitating mental illness (which, by the way, is a schizoaffective disorder).
Vinfen has given me the all-important foundation needed for recovery. First I need health. Vinfen makes sure I’m healthy by keeping up with me and making sure I am taking my medication and meeting with my therapist. This sounds so basic that it could be underestimated, but it is the number one factor for preventing a relapse.
The second priority on the list is shelter and heat. Vinfen has provided an apartment for me to live in and oil to keep the house warm over the winter. I was living in a homeless shelter before moving into the apartment. The apartment has been a stabilizing force in my recovery.
Now I can start to put together a life that is enjoyable and fulfilling. From the beginning, my caseworker Kurt Nelson tried to get me involved in day structures to get me busy and productive. But I was always too down to do anything and just lay in bed or hid in the closet when he came calling on me. Lucky for me he picked up on the importance of helping me get my laundry done. That helped because when I have clean clothes I feel good about going outside.
He tried to get me excited about getting out of bed first thing in the morning by playing basketball. Then we started weaning me on attending a day program three days a week. I did that consistently. Then he challenged me to get into a day structure that I really liked. So one day I got all dressed up and applied for a job at the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee. I got the job. I volunteered once a week for two months. It was stressful for me at times and it wasn’t what I dreamed it would be, but I learned some good lessons from it.
I then started to set goals of where I wanted to go in my life and I started reaching them. I wanted a job in the computer industry and got into a computer-training program through the help of the people at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. I’m now in the class and I’m doing very well.
I truly believe that Vinfen and God have helped me. I have pride and independence and Vinfen has given that to me. And with God and Vinfen’s help, I hope as Al Gore liked to say: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
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