New Jersey’s Supported Housing service was developed as an alternative option for group home living for individuals living with a mental illness. The services’ goal is to support program participants’ successful and personally satisfying tenure in the residential setting of their choosing. The program first started in 2011 serving two individuals discharged from Ancora Hospital. These individuals did not require the intensive 24 hour supervision of our A+ residential program, but did needed assistance in acclimating to their new living environment, managing their healthcare needs and support in the achievement of their personal goals. Our Supported Housing program has expanded its capacity and now offers housing supports to adults discharged from Northbrook Hospital as well as Ancora. CareLink’s Supported Housing Service is supported by Program Supervisor Rebeka Murray and Residential Counselor Jesse Mumford.
Meet One of Our Participants
Zenda Clinton became a member of the Supported Housing Services on June 19, 2015. After signing a lease and personally shopping for furnishing for her new home, she moved in to the Pine Hill apartment complex on June 22nd. Despite the challenges a summer storm presented that week with electrical outage in the local area, Zenda went about making that apartment her very own home. Here is what she has to say about CareLink, her apartment and her new life.
What do you think of your new apartment?
“I like it, it’s great!!”
How is this different from where you were before?
“I am able to take care of things on my own. It is really more stable than where I was before.”
What is the best thing about living in Pine Hill?
“The area is quiet and the people are friendly. It is easy to get around, but not that easy to get to see my old friends in Camden.”
What is the thing you like least about living in Pine Hill?
“Traveling back and forth on Friday nights using public transportation to see my friends. It takes about an hour.”
How can CareLink help you change things you don’t like?
“Hopefully you can help the way I think and express myself. To communicate well with others. For example, when I am talking on the phone with someone like Social Security, I need to talk professionally and sometimes I think the medications affect the way I talk and I want to sound educated.” (Note: This is a great goal to work on in Supported Housing!)
What are you doing to make your life happy and successful?
“I am looking into going back to school and finishing my degree. (Zenda has an Associate degree in Health Management from Philadelphia Community College. She had started an on-line program with Drexel University prior to becoming ill). Staying in contact with my friends and family as well as getting in contact with my supports when I need them are important to me.”
Rebeka is the Program Supervisor CareLink’s New Jersey Supported Housing Services. She graduated from Temple University in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Social Work; her focus was clinical health and mental health. ” I am happy to be working in the Supported Housing Services of CareLink. As the program supervisor, I enjoy the opportunity to help others succeed by providing a flexible and responsive system of support services. I enjoy cooking, traveling and spiritual growth”. A fun fact about Rebeka is that she is part of a very large family and just loves spending time with her 25 nieces!
Prior to joining the CareLink team, Jesse worked in mental health services for 5 years and enjoyed a 20 year career in police work. “I like working with folks who live with a mental health disability because I love to serve and help people. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling, sightseeing, family time and picnics”. A fun fact from Jesse is that he “…loves to make people smile”!