The man, in his late 70s, showed up at the new Treatment and Recovery Center (TRC) in November and knocked on the door.
The Center hasn’t opened yet, but Bri Harmon-Moore, program manager at the TRC, was working at the time and answered the door.
She spoke with the man and then called the Bert Nash Center’s Mobile Response Team.
Two members of the team, Gage Brookman, and Cari Halliburton, responded to the call. Gage is a therapist on the Mobile Response Team; Cari is a case manager.
They set out to find out as much as they could about the man and to determine how best they could help.
They found out the man is a veteran in his late 70s. He had recently come to Lawrence from Washington State, where he had been homeless. They learned the man was from Kansas and had family in Lawrence, which is what brought him here.
The man had been dropped off near the TRC on Nov. 14. With help from Bert Nash Center Homeless Outreach Team Program Manager Elizabeth Day, they were able to find a motel room where the man could stay for three nights.
The man is physically disabled and uses a walker. He also has untreated diabetes. He couldn’t offer much about his personal history.
“Cari and Gage worked with him every day on things like his identification information,” said Edie Harrison, Mobile Response Team program manager. “They did a lot of research with the limited background information he was able to give them. The goal was to identify any housing options for him. He also had no clothes, so they got him some clothes.”
Cari and Gage worked with the man to apply for income-based housing for people who are disabled and elderly. Three days after he knocked on the door at the TRC, he was given the keys to an apartment.
“They explored all the Bert Nash Center services he might be eligible for,” Edie said. “Now he’s working with a case manager on our Supportive Housing Team.”
Edie said this was an example of how the Mobile Response Team can help someone in need and connect them with services.
“This person didn’t end up on the streets. He didn’t end up in the hospital, or in jail,” Edie said.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, seeking emotional support, or feeling suicidal, call or text 988 or call the Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ direct counseling line at 785-841-2345.