Kasie, 35, always thought of herself as the black sheep of her family. She grew up with three siblings and both parents at home, but her mental illness caused a rift very early. Kasie recalls that she started to “go downhill” at age 13, when she began using drugs to numb her emotional distress and help her to feel more “normal.” Kasie eventually left home in 2008, feeling alienated from and rejected by her family. She spent the next seven years homeless in Venice, where she hoped to find a community to replace the one she had lost. Homeless and without resources, Kasie turned to prostitution.
In October of 2014, Kasie connected with St. Joseph Center’s Venice Chronic Homeless Intervention Project and was offered the opportunity to change her life. Though she told the team she felt “not that smart,” Kasie’s motivation and ability to follow through despite her impairments proved otherwise. As a result of her strength and endurance, Kasie signed a lease for her own apartment on July 9th, 2015.
Kasie has defied the odds in terms of her ability to adjust to the changes and new responsibilities that come with housing. She reaches out to her case manager whenever she has doubts or questions about how to address her needs, and she is grateful and respectful in every interaction. She continues to work on developing her confidence and self esteem, as it will take time for her to see in herself what the VCHIP team has seen all along. She takes things one day at a time and demonstrates a perseverance that we can all admire.