When I spoke with his program case worker, Stephan, I was told that he had in fact spoken with Louis several months ago and told him that the program would run out in a a few months time and that he would need to find a way to pay his rent. So I’m left to think was my client in self denial? Did he misunderstand? Could drugs play a role in his denial or lack of interest in finding work while the program was going on? Louis had told me he had been clean for 7 years but we do take our clients for their word until proven otherwise.
Bottom line the reasoning didn’t matter as much as the fact that deadline was fast approaching and no extension could be made because several people were waiting to take Louis’ apartment (as part of the program). It didn’t matter of course what I thought or what the misunderstanding was, what mattered is that Louis had a very limited time to find work or another place to live.
I found a transitional shelter for him but I was only able make him an appointment two days before he would lose his program, and the appointment was only an intake appointment to get on the waiting list to get into the shelter.
The day Louis lost his housing he gave me a call and I asked him if he would like me to walk over with him to a state department where they direct people with homelessness to a shelter for the night. Louis said sure. We met downstairs and he had a bag of his possessions, and we headed out.
I had went with him
A few weeks after that I checked my messages and got one from Louis. He said he was he was staying at his brother’s apartment and that he’d call me later. He didn’t leave a phone number. The fact he had family he could rely on temporarily was great and not a lot of our clients have that. Also, unless our clients check in with us if they do lose their housing, if we don’t have a phone number for them we can’t follow up, and sometimes I do think about clients who’ve gone off the radar. Some randomly return, but some we’re left to wonder about.