When I got to CFI, it simply changed my life
I am a local resident of the downtown area. My behavioral health specialist referred me to a peer support program on the other side of town. We met Tuesday through Friday. I was going through depression and anxiety, while being diagnosed with a mental illness.
I was able to go through the training to become a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), with another agency, but was not really able to utilize the skills I had been trained in with the agency. I was on my way home one day and completely broke down. When I arrived home, my neighbor and I talked and he referred me to Community Friendship, Inc. (CFI) which was minutes away from my home. I was just going to give it a try. When I got to CFI, it simply changed my life! I was able to connect to other programs, such as the Work Opportunities Program. I was able to obtain employment with the support I needed and received through the staff at CFI Work Opportunities Program. I am happy to now work with and for my peers to open up a window of opportunity to independence and self-esteem. If I can do it, anyone can. Thank you CFI!
Thank you CFI
The CFI PATH Homeless Outreach Team came into contact with G.P. in 2016, sitting on a hot metal bench on the corner of W. Peachtree Street and Ralph McGill. His clothes were disheveled and soiled. The CFI PATH Team did not let the appearance of G.P. stop them from engaging and providing what may be an opportunity to help G.P. recover, and become stable.
Upon contact and engagement, an assessment was performed. G.P. was in an irritable mood; he was frustrated and he verbalized that he was in severe pain. G.P. was distraught and disorganized. Both G.P.’s lower legs and calf areas were swollen. He reported feeling depressed and helpless on a daily basis. G.P. stated he had been homeless on the streets, for over a year, due to losing housing once his mother passed away and he had no income to pay the mortgage.
On this very same day, G.P. agreed to PATH case management services. G.P. was immediately transported to a community partner that provides emergency housing. The CFI PATH Team immediately provided new clothes, grooming products and groceries. The Team was also able to provide additional resources and referrals. The following morning, G.P. was taken to a mental health and medical treatment facility by a CFI PATH Team member. After several days of hospitalization and treatment, G.P.’s legs and feet were no longer swollen, pain decreased and breathing was improved. G.P. was released back to the emergency housing community partner location, with physical and mental health medications, where he slowly recovered. A Shelter Plus Care Voucher was submitted and approved, and G.P. was permanently housed in a one bedroom apartment. He currently receives social security benefits and his recovery is going well.
I am now fully employed through the support of my peers who believed in me, and believed in my capabilities
I was placed in housing for the homeless after losing everything, when I came across a young lady in the courtyard talking about Community Friendship, Inc. (CFI). Her name was Janet, who was. Janet, a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) worked at CFI, talked about the many programs offered at Community Friendship. As Janet began to talk about the programs and services, she caught my attention, so I sat down to listen. It was the very moment that my life began to change.
While Janet was speaking, I heard God speak to me and say, ‘that’s where you need to be’. I asked my housing case worker to please sign me up for the Peer Support Program at CFI! When I first enrolled, I would sit quietly and not saying much. Janet was able to help me break through my depression and pulled out of me the ambition to thrive in life! She helped me find my determination to succeed. The Peer Support staff at CFI saw more than my mental health diagnosis, they believed in me when I did not believe in myself. I have had the opportunity to become a certified peer specialist, attend many trainings and workshops, and have done some public speaking on behalf of ending mental health stigma. I am now fully employed through the support of my peers who believed in me, and believed in my capabilities. I am truly blessed and I love to share the blessing of recovery from mental illness on to others. CFI has made a difference in my life.
Along with God, I found myself, I found my purpose, I found the hope to succeed!