Last week we profiled the story of a resident of Safe Harbor, Martin, as he overcame obstacles and arrived at our shelter to get back on his feet. Click here to read the first part of his story.
Guest blog post by Amy Hsieh.
A year ago, Martin was caught stealing a registration sticker from another car. Fortunately, the charges were dropped down, but it gave him a scare. He has goals now, like going back to work, finding housing and maintaining his health.
A big part of Martin’s turnaround has been working with his health case manager Kat Barrientos in Safe Harbor’s Housing for Health program. This past year, Martin developed severe cellulitis that caused swelling of the limbs, headaches, fever and pain. At Safe Harbor, Kat physically examines his leg every day, and makes sure that Martin shows up to all his medical appointments.
Martin’s life is different now. He is strongly focused, and his life is getting back on track. He works closely with his case manager on his individual plan that is tailored to what’s going on in his life. Martin knows that he has Kat to support him and to give him tools to help.
“Kat doesn’t feel like staff. She feels like a friend. She keeps me on track with my plan and helps me keep my word to myself,” he says.
How does Martin feel about the future? He feels great. For the first time in along time, he is thinking about what he wants to do in five years. He’s taking classes and plans to enroll in a skills training program to become a surgical technician or a medical device assembly technician.
“I changed because I had to turn the page, because I wanted to accept myself and be around people who want more from life. Safe Harbor allows you space and time to think about where you want to go,” says Martin.
A few months ago, Kat invited Martin to serve as a consumer representative on a new Advisory Board for San Mateo County Medical Center’ Healthcare for the Homeless. This new role as a homeless advocate is a natural fit.
“Being on the Advisory Board has really helped his self-confidence. It has given him a voice to express his ideas that are taken seriously. I’m very proud of him,” says Kat.
Martin’s story is just one story from the several hundred men and women Safe Harbor serves every year. With the community’s strong support, Samaritan House will continue to help those in need regain self-sufficiency and build brighter futures. For a list of the shelter’s current needs, please visit Our Wish List page.