"They Gave Me Encouragement"
Linda H. was “living in total darkness” on the streets of Boston. For 20 years, she spent nights sleeping in cars, on sidewalks or the Boston Common, while struggling with drug addiction and abusive relationships. She often wondered if this was what the rest of her life would be like.
Then she found treatment and support at Pine Street’s Shattuck Shelter in Jamaica Plain, and with guidance from her case managers, Linda began to turn her life around.
“Pine Street staff would come to see me in treatment. They helped me get housing, and they helped me get my life back on track” says Linda. “More than anything, they gave me encouragement.”
Linda was housed through Pine Street’s scattered-site housing program. Tenants in these one- or two-bedroom apartments have experienced chronic homelessness and receive intensive support to help them develop life skills leading to greater independence. Case managers provide assistance with activities of daily living, healthcare referrals, community integration, and job training, employment or volunteer opportunities.
“The experience of moving into a safe, secure home is life-changing,” says Lyndia Downie, President & Executive Director of Pine Street Inn. “With a roof over their heads, tenants no longer struggle to survive. Many are able to re-engage with their families. They become healthier, often find jobs and enjoy being part of a community again,” she adds.
Since finding her footing, Linda has also found employment with a local civil rights organization and the courage to reconnect with her parents and daughter. She continues to work with Pine Street case managers who offer a coordinated approach to addressing her challenges – a support model that helps 96% of our tenants remain in housing during the first year.
“I was surrounded by all the right people when I needed it most,” Linda says. “Everyone at Pine Street really cared and never turned their back on me.”