Mark was living between two cement barriers in a local grocery store parking lot when a concerned citizen introduced him to Coalition services. Even though a single mother would bring him food regularly, Mark was clearly emaciated and extremely vulnerable. Mark did not know his name, was wheelchair bound, and was suffering from extreme paranoia. We later discovered that Mark had been homeless for years and frequently suffered from delusional beliefs that there were people out to hurt him. This created obvious challenges for Mark to trust others and to communicate effectively.
What was Mark’s experience while living at the Coalition?
It took a few weeks to build trust with staff, but Mark eventually realized there were good people who wanted him to succeed and get better. His stay at the Coalition lasted 14 months. During this time, we worked with Provo Police Department to establish his identity, engage mental health professionals from Wasatch Mental Health to improve his psychiatric needs. A local volunteer sponsored weekly yoga classes which Mark attended every week. Over the course of several months, Mark finally traded his wheelchair in for a walking cane – which he utilizes to this day.
Where is Mark now?
Mark now resides in a beautiful 1-bedroom apartment operated by the Utah County Housing Authority. He has taken great pride in his newfound independence and keeps his apartment well maintained and organized. He regularly attends volunteer activities where he can reciprocate the kindness shown by those he came to know and love at the Coalition. His anxiety of going out in public and communicating with others has also drastically improved. He recently wrote a thank you to the staff wherein he stated, “You all helped turn around my life and deserve more than I can possibly give you in return. With all my heart, I wish to express my gratitude for becoming my family. Each of you have helped save my life in your own way”.