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Jennifer’s Story

For people living with a mental illness, the road to recovery requires certain anchors of stability, and one essential anchor is stable housing. Nationwide, thousands of people with a severe mental illness end up living on the streets every day.

Women like Jennifer, who has lived with severe depression since she was a teen.

She described her life before Bethlehem Haven as a game of Tetris. Every day she felt completely overwhelmed, scrambling to make things fit, but the pieces kept falling faster and faster until she was completely exhausted. Every dish in the sink, every phone call, every sunrise. She could never catch up.

Jennifer just wanted to disappear, dull the pain, and make it stop.

“I was living day-to-day.”

Homelessness is often triggered by a crisis in a person’s life. People who do not have familial or communal support more often experience a downward spiral in their lives. A large majority of the women served by Bethlehem Haven have some type of mental illness and have been affected by trauma. During Jennifer’s stay, she saw a Licensed Therapist regularly to work through her anxiety, depression and PTSD.

“I felt completely restored, knowing that someone cared for me. Bethlehem Haven’s compassionate staff saved my life.”

To continue to support women like Jennifer, please make your year-end gift today.

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