Chris Finds Success in Supported Housing

By the time she was 16 Chris knew she thought differently than other students. When she was 19 she had her first psychiatric episode and was hospitalized. It took ten years for doctors to work through various diagnoses before finally settling on schizo-affective disorder. One doctor described it by joking “some people have ups, some people have downs… you’re sideways!”

Chris is familiar with the discrimination suffered by people with mental illness. In 1991 she moved seven times, in large part due to prejudiced landlords. She also found structural discrimination in services she had hoped would be able to help her. As she struggled to overcome drug use, she learned Narcotics Anonymous wouldn’t accept her because she was on psychiatric medication. When she worked to extract herself from an abusive relationship, she was turned away from a shelter for battered women, again because of her mental illness.

It was around this time Chris found her way to the Triage Shelter, the same time the Windchimes apartments were being built. When Windchimes was complete in July 1993 Chris moved in with the first generation of tenants. She continues to live at Windchimes in contentment and stability today.

Chris particularly appreciates having support available to her 24 hours a day at the Triage Shelter, which is located next door to the Windchimes apartments. Knowing this support is available makes her feel secure. Chris also appreciates the support she gets from the other tenants. In learning to help each other the tenants of Windchimes have built a real community.