Larry’s Success Story
Larry is a 52 year old man who presented to the program direct from homelessness. He had a severe and persistent mental illness, was a chronic alcoholic and drug abuser with subsequent serious physical consequences as a result. He had been without medications for his mental illness for several years, and had been jailed for disorderly conduct and petty theft on multiple occasions the previous year. A SalusCare outreach coordinator met Larry at the Chapel by the Sea located on Fort Myers Beach. After several visits with him at the church’s outreach center, the coordinator made a connection with him. After a few more visits, Larry decided he wanted off the beach and wanted some services to help him “live on.” Larry first entered SalusCare’s transitional housing and received services for his mental health, physical health and substance abuse. About three weeks into the program, he began to experience dental pain and was provided with dental care. Over the weeks he transformed into a totally different person. He became clean shaven, put on some weight, and his self-esteem became positive. Larry moved into SalusCare’s Chrysalis program and continued to receive services. He worked with staff to apply for disability and, a year later, began receiving SSI benefits. After admission into the program, and before he had benefits or any other income, Larry was diagnosed with cancer and began receiving treatments. With him being in the peer-supported Chrysalis community, Larry received much-needed support from his neighbors and SalusCare staff. His cancer treatments made him sick and very tired. Unable to work, Larry had no income. This project was able to continue to support Larry. After 18 months of participating in the SalusCare programs, Larry works part time and is a very active member in the recovery and peer-support community. Today, Larry’s health has improved and he is grateful for his life.