After losing his job laying asphalt due to back and arm injuries and years of battling depression , Joel*, now 53, drank heavily to escape. When both his longtime girlfriend and then his mother died, Joel could take it no more and tried to commit suicide. A friend told him he had to get help and he wound up at the Sacramento Mental Health Center in 2010.
"I was a mess, nothing was coming together, I wanted to kill myself, I couldn’t work, I was homeless for about five or six years. It seemed like people were dying around me, and then Turning Point came and picked me up from SMHC. They showed me the way. I failed the course a few times, but they never gave up on me. They turned me around."
Joel admits that he was depressed for a long time, even before his work troubles began. Both his parents drank alcohol to excess and he figured he inherited that trait.
"But I worked hard, I kept every appointment, I’ve been through the mills, but they stood by me. Today I realized my dream, moving into my own place."
Joel is now living at Boulevard Court, supported housing in South Sacramento for homeless with psychiatric disabilities featured in a recent Sacramento News & Review article, From Might to Blight
* Name changed to protect client's privacy.