In my early 20s, I was a performer living in Manhattan. But when I began to hear voices, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
On my own, my mental illness led to drug and alcohol addiction and homelessness. For decades, I spent time in hospitals, shelters, and on the streets. Sometimes I’d ride the subway all night. I had no where to wash up or change clothes. Then I found Fountain House, and at the age of 64, I moved into my own apartment through Fountain House’s supportive housing program. My three roommates are like big brothers to me!
KK in one of the gardens at Fountain House
And the best part? Fountain House is still there for me—right across the street. My work in the culinary unit provides me with a much-needed routine. And the Fountain House staff and other members give me TLC and keep me grounded.
When I’m in my space or at Fountain House, I can feel the love. I can feel that people care about me— and I care about them too. Housing is the key to my happiness and health. Without a safe space to call my own, I shudder to think where I’d be right now.