Name: Melva Freeman
City: Rohnert Park
Melva is a happy single woman living in a subsidized senior apartment in Rohnert Park with her pet fish, “Mike”. She loves her home and feels like she’s living in a luxury hotel with all the accommodations it offers. Melva enjoys being in nature, reading, watching movies, and going out to eat with family and friends.
Melva has clear goals which help her maintain her focus – staying out of the mental hospital, working, traveling, and enjoying her life to the fullest.
After a stressful divorce she was having manic symptoms, suicidal thoughts and was unable to get along with her children. A friend told her about DSLC where she met with a Benefits Counselor, Cheryl Fields. Cheryl explained how to apply for benefits and that it would probably be a difficult, lengthy process. This proved to be true, but after 2 years she received a small amount of benefits.
Needing to make a change, she decided to sell her home and look for volunteer work that would eventually lead to employment. Remembering her positive experience with DSLC, she began volunteering in 1998 and became a paid employee in 1999. While working she learned vital tools, such as how to repair her credit, find a compatible roommate, and locate low-income housing.
While working at DSLC, Melva met another staff member who was bipolar as well. Together they found that they did similar things to stay sane. Melva explains what happened next “I started the Tools for Stability workshop to share these things with our clients. I wrote paragraphs so people could remember what was said in the workshop. Eventually, using all the information I’d collected from my life experiences, I published the book “Tools for Stability” in 2014.”
“Thank you to all the DSLC staff that helped me along the way and taught me how to advocate for myself. Without DSLC’s help I would probably be homeless”.