Before finding a safe home at the Harold Lewis House, many of our residents have experienced intermittent and/or long term homelessness, sometimes spanning decades. Richard Gagne, one of our current residents, came to us in 2006 after having spent more than 25 years on the streets.
During the cold winter months, he slept on top of the grates at the former Civic Center where he managed to stay warm, and in the summer, he slept in the woods. He ate at local soup kitchens when he could get to one, but most of the time he depended on his wits to find something to eat.
|Richard recieved the support and care at The Harold Lewis House that he needed to become independent.
Over the years, Richard occasionally visited Crossroads for assistance but never became engaged in services long enough to solve his homelessness. His life was passing by and he did not know where it was going. Finally, in 2005, with the help of a determined case manager, Richard was able to get his first home in more than two decades when he moved into a room at the Crossroads’ housing tower, where he managed to stabilize his life. After a year living in the tower, his case manager felt that Richard would benefit from living in a residence that focused on the needs of homeless elders and helped him apply for residence at the Harold Lewis House.
In 2006, Richard moved to the Harold Lewis House, and the manager and other residents agree that he is a delight to have in the house. His life has improved in many ways since he moved there. He has taken a proactive approach to improving his health and never misses his doctor’s appointments. With the help of his case manager, he has a budget that he sticks to religiously and has managed to start saving money for the first time in his life. Now that Richard’s health status is vastly improved and he has learned to manage his small income, he is ready to move into a brand new apartment with services for elderly disabled individuals at the Wildberry Apartments in Artic. Richard is very proud of his accomplishments and is looking forward to spending his elder years in a safe and supportive environment. He has had a difficult life, but he is looking forward to his future.
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