*All videos are Closed Captioned on Youtube*
"I was a single man just trying to make it on my way. I was the type of person to be a fair and honest, respectful man working for a living. I was going from job to job, never really holding a job down because of my alcoholic problems. I didn’t want to admit to myself and my family that I had a severe problem with alcohol.
I felt everything came crashing down in 2020 when I lost my job at Dr. Pepper. Eventually, I lost my apartment, and I had to stay in a shelter. I also had mental problems I didn’t want to deal with.
My doctor put me on medication, which helped some, but I was 'gone'. Now living at the Star of Hope shelter just trying to live, my counselor Mrs. Lindsay connected me with John Duodeh at The Harris Center. John began assisting me with finding more stable housing. I was still struggling with problems while living at the shelter.
After a stay of three months there, I decided to walk out in possibly the worse time, the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak. I had nowhere to go. I was homeless for a while until I got in touch with my Christian brother Brother Daniel. He and my brother helped me to get into the Texas House, a program for drug and alcohol recovery. The team there helped me understand that I don’t need alcohol to live a good and better life.
I moved in with my daughter while the housing voucher John was helping me with was approved. My brother Daniel helped me look for a place to live on my own. When we finally found a place, I submitted my application and housing voucher to the Villas at Eastwood. I moved in about three months later, and Mr. Ricky Johnson helped me find a job at LBJ Hospital. I am now doing so much better, with a job, housing and food. Now my mental problems are not so bad. I am thankful to all the people who cared for me and helped me along the way. God bless The Harris Center for being a true guide for me to enjoy a better life."
Anaira noted Maritza’s baby seemed happy and well cared for, but during her observations, she became concerned about Martiza when she noticed changes in Martiza’s self-care.
Every October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” As part of this month’s activities, The Harris Center is highlighting our recent summer internship collaboration with the H.E.A.R.T. Program.For many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), finding jobs out in the “real world” may not always come easy. As part of The Harris Center’s commitment to transform the lives of people with IDD, the agency recently collaborated with the H.E.A.R.T. Program to provide summer internships to individuals with IDD to allow them the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience across our agency’s various programs.
It is early morning, and stepping out of the Metro bus is Sh’Clara Smith. She makes her way to the front doors of The Harris Center’s Gessner Day Program where she signs in and greets her friends ready to take on the day. As she sits, other participants gather around and they begin sharing what they did over the weekend.
Jail Re-Entry Program: Mr. Simon* is an Iraq War veteran who was referred to us by Brothers in Arms, a program assisting veterans at the Harris County jail. Shortly before Mr. Simon was released, we offered him a bed at our new Jail Re-Entry program during the time Veterans Affairs coordinated permanent housing for him. Mr. Simon was admitted to our program on Jan. 11 this year.
The phone rang at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night at the Crisis Line. Isabella Rowe, a fairly new member of the Crisis Line team, answered the call. The caller shared he was having a really rough time getting through a terrible divorce and was currently homeless. He was feeling desperate and so hopeless that he had thoughts of dying by walking in to traffic earlier that day. Many of these feelings were due to the love he felt for Sanaa, his service dog of 7 years, who helped him due to a seizure disorder. The caller had a really hard time finding a spot in a shelter since most won't take Sanaa. The caller reported feeling increasingly worried about caring for her properly on the street.
The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, in cooperation with Harris County Probate Court 3 and the University of Houston, has received a grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for an Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program for people with serious mental illness.
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The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD strives to provide high quality, efficient, and cost effective services so that persons with mental disabilities may live with dignity as fully functioning, participating, and contributing members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay based on a sliding scale rate schedule.
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