“Was it hard for you to gain my trust?”

Linda is a single 50-year-old female who has been homeless before, though she describes her homelessness as “a lifestyle choice.” When Linda came to Wilkins Avenue Women’s Assessment Center, she did not have health insurance nor did she receive other public assistance. She was resistant and guarded, exuded hostility towards her case manager, and did not want to receive public assistance. In addition, she refused to be in mental health treatment and was in denial about her mental health symptoms.

After a few months of her arrival, Linda’s behaviors changed. She was forthcoming with information and open to receiving assistance. Linda now has medical insurance through the Primary Adult Care (PAC) and receives food stamps. She has also obtained her birth certificate and Maryland ID. Although Linda is still in denial about her mental illness, she has agreed to have a mental health evaluation done in order to apply for Social Security Disability benefits and has followed through with all recommendations and appointment.

Recently, Linda asked her case manager, “Was it hard?” The case manager asked her to clarify her question, Linda said, “Was it hard for you to gain my trust?” She then extended her hand and shook the case manager’s hand.

“Thank you for making me feel complete and helping me get my ID. Now, I feel like I have an identity,” she said.

Today, Linda is completing the Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance Outreach, Access, and Recovery process so she can start receiving disability.

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