Kevin W., 46, was born in the LA area and raised in Venice by his mother. Both his brother and his mother suffered from schizophrenia when he was a child and Kelvin’s time in school was further complicated by his own dyslexia.
He was mixed up with gangs by the age of 12 and increasingly found himself in the wrong crowd as he grew older. In his early teens Kevin began to experience symptoms of schizophrenia. Between his mental health issues, periods of incarceration, and substance abuse during his 30s, he has been homeless off and on since 1990 and continuously since 2004.
In April 2015 he came to SJC’s Homeless Service Center, where he underwent an assessment and began accessing emergency services including laundry, showers, and meals at Bread and Roses Café; he was also immediately referred to Venice Family Clinic for healthcare. Within just a few weeks, SJC linked Kevin with Edelman Mental Health Center, where he began to receive counselling and psychiatry services as well as support with an SSI application. SJC also connected Kevin with Westside Center for Independent Living, where he received support with obtaining housing. In June, Kevin moved off the street and into PATH’s Westside shelter. SJC staff report that Kevin continues to make healthier choices and has grown visibly happier with each step forward.
He takes great pride in his success and loves to share how well he is doing—he is always smiling when he comes in for appointments now. Kevin’s outlook and hopes for the future are far brighter today than just a few short months ago.