“Joe” came to the Shelter one evening in July 2018. When he arrived, he seemed to be doing well – he had already arranged an interview for housing, and said he would only be with us for a few days. He had contacted family members, and had made strong plans for his future.
By the third day at the Shelter, however, we began to notice a shift. He was starting to look more unkempt, and showed signs of mental health problems. Joe started shouting at cars, and painted a fluorescent stripe on his pants.
He said he wanted to “let people know to be cautious. I am dangerous.”
Shelter staff worked hard to keep Joe safe. It took three days, and six different workers across all shifts to track down his psychiatrist. He needed a refill of his anti-pyschotic medication. After taking his first few necessary doses, he calmed down, and was moved to crisis respite in Kitchener.
With ShelterCare, Joe would have had medical intervention the moment he entered shelter. He would have had a stable place to stay while he waited for permanent housing. There is a better way.