This 70-year-old woman, who is one of our more difficult clients, was first referred to us as she needed to be taken to the emergency room with alcohol intoxication, and the hope was she would be admitted to a rehab program. She was agreeable initially, but unfortunately once the alcohol wore off, she changed her mind. She has an extremely dark past, including a drunk driving accident in which her sister was killed as well as her finding her husband at home after he committed suicide. Understandably she suffers from severe depression and often turns to alcohol.

Since we met her more than three years ago, she has been evicted from three separate residences for disruptive behavior and failure to adhere to alcohol and smoking policies. Each time we have helped her relocate and move her belongings. She receives less than $1,000 a month from Social Security and has been assigned to a “payee” through The Organizer Fiduciary Services which pays her rent and any other bills. She receives very little discretionary income.

Earlier this year while residing at The Peachtree Inn, a residential hotel downtown, she had an episode of acute respiratory failure resulting in a nearly two-week stay in ICU at UCSD. This hospitalization and subsequent stay at a post-acute facility helped establish her on a better path. She gave up drinking and smoking, and although her smoking resumed, she’s been sober for more than nine months.

Sober for more than nine months.

She is enrolled with Senior IMPACT (Intensive Psychosocial Mobile Community Treatment) which recently secured a subsidized apartment affiliated with Father Joe’s Villages for her. She’ll be allowed to smoke cigarettes in her unit and there is 24-hour security along with an on-site social worker and chaplain for support. She goes to IMPACT on a weekly basis to see a psychiatrist and have her medications distributed.

She’s a wonderfully sweet woman when she’s sober. We continue to visit her regularly and be a resource for her. Now that her rent has been reduced from nearly $800 per month to $258, she’ll be able to purchase more items for herself. She now has free home delivery service and an IHSS worker to help with her laundry. Now that she’s in a place she feels comfortable, she has a much greater chance to be successful.