Stable housing puts recovery in reach

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Thomas May
Spokane

For Thomas May, depression robbed him of the will to live. It had already taken his home and his livelihood. Although he tried to get better, he became caught in a cycle of brief recovery and relapse. But by this point he was struggling with homelessness and substance use. He suffered through four suicide attempts. 

Thomas says the key to getting his life back was getting access to housing. “Once I had that housing, my life changed. Then I could focus on my recovery,” Thomas said.

The housing came with counseling, support and employment assistance, putting all the pieces in place to allow him to rebuild his life.

Today Thomas works as a resident monitor at a skilled nursing facility. He also devotes time as a suicide prevention advocate. “My motivation is knowing that my experience can benefit someone else. Having lived that experience was not for nothing. We can get better.”

Healthier Washington Linkages

A person’s health is influenced by more than just access to health care. unemployment and job insecurity as well as homelessness and unstable housing contribute to poor health. The best response is to address the underlying causes of poor health. Under the Medicaid Transformation Demonstration is the Foundational Community Supports program, which aims to help our most vulnerable clients get and keep stable housing and employment, in support of their broader health needs. This program aims to break the cycle of homelessness and poor health.

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