Rebuilding Lives

HOUSING HELPS INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
REBUILD THEIR LIVES AND GIVE BACK

Extended Housing is a Lake County non-profit agency that provides housing to persons with severe and persistent mental illness who are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. Many times individuals are living in their own home (apartment, condo, unit) and need help to remain there.

Karen McLeod, Executive Director, says, “Our lives are made up of building blocks. We build our lives with an education, a job, a home, a family, friends, a car, and other things. Mental illness can cause all of those building blocks to come tumbling down. Anyone can end up on the streets. Without treatment and support, an individual with mental illness cannot work and therefore cannot pay rent or buy food. Their illness may prevent them from seeking or accepting help.

Our goal at Extended Housing is to reach out to those individuals, help them connect to the support they need, and help them get into housing so that they can focus on getting well. There is a greater need with some 300 people on the waiting list than there are housing options available. Our clients come from diverse backgrounds, different life experiences and, depending on their illness, require more or less support. That is one of the reasons that we initiated the 17-unit McKinley Grove** supportive housing project in Painesville. Once completed, this will help fill the gap for those who need a little more support and encouragement to live independently.”

Extended Housing owns and manages 18 properties throughout Lake County. It also works with more than 100 landlords to find housing and provide subsidies to help individuals pay the rent. Helping someone remain in their home is a priority and the most beneficial solution for their recovery. Our clients generally want to get better and give back to the community. Together with the support of the other mental health agencies we want to help them.”

Our success stories:

Cassandra, age 29, has a bipolar disorder. She works at a daycare center and lives with her mother. When her mother hurt her back and could no longer work, they were at risk of losing their home. Extended Housing provided a subsidy to help pay the rent. Recently, Cassandra has asked to be taken off of the program because she is self-sufficient and able to pay the rent.

Ed, age 48, is a veteran and has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was able to receive housing help for his own apartment and is now pursuing his CDC certification. He volunteers a lot, including the Lake County Jail Treatment Program and Project Hope.

George, age 51, diagnosed with bipolar, traveled all over the country working odd jobs before getting help for his illness. He now has his own apartment and is volunteering at churches and pursuing his GED so he can take college courses.

**McKinley Grove is scheduled to open in March of 2013 in Painesville. Funds are needed to complete the project. Sponsorships are available as well as donations to have an outdoor bench in your name or a community room named after a loved one. An engraved sidewalk paving brick can also be purchased for $60 each.

Extended Housing is a non-profit organization started in 1983 that provides safe, decent, and affordable housing for persons who are homeless or about to be homeless and experiencing a severe and persistent mental illness. Federal and state-funded housing programs and subsidies are managed and administered by Extending Housing to Lake County residents who qualify. Additional funding is pursued with grant proposals and fundraisers.

Extended Housing is governed by a Board of Directors, certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health, and is a service provider under ADAMHS, The Lake County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.

For more information, contact Karen Mcleod, Executive Director, 440-352-8424, 440-942-9441
Email: kmcleod@extendedhousing.org

Note: The ADAMHS Board is established by Ohio State statute and is responsible for planning, funding, and evaluating Lake County’s mental health and recovery services. More information is available at www.HelpThatWorks.us.