Editor’s Note: LifeSTEPS’ core purpose is to keep people in housing. However, through our relationship with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, we are also involved in helping the homeless become housed. Following is Rosalinda’s story, depicting how this partnership helped to change her life.
In 2005 Rosalinda was living a good life. A job developer for Goodwill Industries in Yuma, AZ, Rosalinda found fulfillment in her job and enjoyed a safe and secure home. However, in 2010 she moved back to the Los Angeles area to help her daughter who was having a baby.
From there her life would be turned upside-down. Her relationship with her daughter began to deteriorate. In 2011 Rosalinda had a heart attack, and in 2012 she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. Because of her health conditions she was unable to hold down a job for any length of time. She soon found herself homeless.
For five long years Rosalinda moved back and forth between her brother and her son’s homes, though she often slept in her car or in the park. Thankfully she had accessed health services through the County of Los Angeles. During the fall of 2015 a caseworker from the County Hospital referred her to the Housing for Health Program. Rosalinda was soon in contact with LifeSTEPS and Brilliant Corners, and by October had moved into her new apartment home at Hollenbeck Terrace.
Formerly known as Linda Vista Hospital, Amcal Housing transformed the abandoned facility into an affordable community for older adults. As a tax-credit community, a consistent level of social services is provided to residents through LifeSTEPS. In addition, the community is also a part of the Los Angeles County Housing for Health Program, through which older homeless adults with health concerns, like Rosalinda, are moved from shelters (or their cars) into safe, affordable housing. As needed, they also have access to health services, some of which are delivered on-site. Rosalinda reports that she receives nursing visits and physical therapy on a weekly basis.
For Rosalinda having a home of her own has been a true blessing. Furthermore, she says that it’s her entire community that is helping her to feel more alive. “We look out for one another. We encourage shut-ins to join us in the different activities here.” For example, Rosalinda is active in social activities on-site, attends education classes, and even does a Zumba class (using her walker)!
“This is a wonderful place to call home,” she says. “It’s been good for my health. Everyone is at peace. I don’t have to worry anymore.”