David's Story

David is a 37 year old with end stage kidney disease, heart failure, opioid use disorder, traumatic brain injury, seizure disorder, chronic pain and developmental disability who has experienced chronic homelessness. Despite multiple teams across the care continuum having attempted to support him, due to unstable housing and complex social barriers, David has struggled to access needed health care services. In a recent year David was hospitalized 21 times, with his most recent hospitalization extending 112 days. David was referred to the OakDays Homekey program, which offers permanent housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. The OakDays Homekey site has provided David what no other options have: a safe and supportive environment that values harm reduction and flexibility for a patient with complex needs and challenging behaviors. After entering the program, David started an on-site methadone treatment program and is being offered home hemodialysis. He now runs and plays basketball, and has not had a hospital admission for almost a year.

Photo of Delaine,a woman from Oakland who has experienced homelessness.

Delaine's Story

My life kind of took a turn in 2011 when I couldn’t afford my rent and found myself homeless. I was born and raised in Oakland, got married here, and raised five children. All of a sudden I was a homeless senior citizen.

I was fortunate to have a good friend who told me about St. Mary’s Senior Center. They have a program just for homeless seniors in the winter, and that’s where I went. They had an art class and a writing class, where I took up poetry again, and they had a caseworker who helped me fill out applications for affordable housing. That’s how I ended up here at Merritt Crossing—I won a lottery. St. Mary’s is a good place, but having to sleep on a cot, not being able to lie down when I wanted to, not being able to take a bath when I wanted to, all sorts of people there—it was an experience.