Independence Center's Housing
Moses is a Resident at Newstead Place Apts
One of those people is Moses Howell. Those who know him well will tell you he is a hard worker, an excellent cook, a sharp dresser and he loves to dance. He is also a huge martial arts fan. But Moses also has a mental illness, and this has made living independently difficult.
"When I was 16, I started hearing voices. I went through some very hard times." He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and struggling to find the right medications and a way to manage his illness, he spent most of his early adult life jumping from one housing situation to another. He lived with a string of friends and family, but it never worked out and after a short time he would be looking for another place to live. He had nothing to call his own, no safe place to settle down. He spent time in shelters and living on the street, often making his symptoms worse.
But Moses had recently joined Independence Center, and a community support worker at the Center worked with Moses to find safe, affordable and appropriate housing for him, and recommended Newstead Place Apartments. As one of the Center's four residential programs that provide 24-hour supervision, Newstead offers each resident his or her own apartment, and the staff is on hand to monitor medications, provide meals and assist with daily living. "I love having my own apartment, with my own shower," Moses says. "I keep it clean and get to decorate it how I want to," he says. His extensive collection of Bruce Lee posters that cover his apartment walls testify to how proud he is of his independence.
On top of providing a place to live, the extra supports Newstead offers are critical for Moses. "On my own, I did not always take my medicine like I was supposed to. There were times when I was really low. I attempted suicide. But at Newstead, they help me take my medicine on time, and they test my blood sugar for my diabetes," he says. "My community support worker also helped me put together a budget so that I could be smart with my money every month."
Moses has lived at Newstead Apartments for more than ten years, and has found the dignity that comes along with stability and knowing he can rely on and provide for himself. "I really like the people who live here. I have real friends. Newstead is my home. If I were not here, I would be living in a shelter or on the street," he explains. Independence Center's housing program provides Moses and approximately 70 others with decent, affordable housing they can proudly call their own.
Thanks to the Independence Center for providing information about their housing program at the Newstead Apartments, and to Elvira Kollar IN HUD's St. Louis, MO office, assisted by HUD's 2008 Leadership Development Program, for bringing this success story to the public's attention.