Showing A Path Forward
Kenneth had a hard life growing up. Coming from a chaotic household—where his mother would abuse him both physically and mentally— he had few resources.
Though he suffered from depression that dated back to his childhood, Kenneth was still able to get his Licensed Practical Nursing degree and worked as a nurse for five years at a hospital in Virginia. It was during this time that Kenneth first pulled his back while lifting a patient at work. Shortly thereafter, he lost his job. After this, Kenneth’s depression grew as he went from working as a nurse, to becoming a construction worker, to working maintenance at a fast food restaurant, to eventually becoming unemployed.
By the time he had moved to Chicago, Kenneth was homeless, drinking excessively and suffering from severe back pain. That’s when he met the Legal Council for Health Justice, an IEJF grantee. With the help of the organization and its program partner, Thresholds, Kenneth was awarded disability benefits, and placed in permanent housing with his own room. He had also stopped drinking and was being treated for his back pain and depression.
Though Kenneth still suffers from depression, he is receiving treatment and is no longer suicidal. Legal aid not only gave him a more permanent roof over his head and income, it gave him a brighter outlook regarding his life and his future.