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Working Together to Change Lives

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

How Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services Outreach programs work together to wrap around someone in need. If you would like to help support our work please click the button below.

*Dan was living with his elderly mother who had multiple health issues. When she passed away, he had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. The stress of being his mother’s sole caregiver for 15 years had led Dan to drink excessively. He had also developed PTSD which made finding a new job impossible.

Dan didn’t know what else to do, so he lived in his car for three years in a local store parking lot. The car was tiny. There were missing windows on one side and the headlights did not work. Neither did the heater. Dan could only drive it during the day as he had been pulled over multiple times because the police said the vehicle was not safe.

During the day to stay warm and dry, Dan would spend time at the local library. It was at the Clermont County library that Dan found information on Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS)

and our PATH Team. PATH stands for Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness. It is an outreach program that assists people who are struggling with homelessness, in both Hamilton and

Clermont counties.

Employment Specialist Tim Dunn (left) meets with "Dan" to discuss how he's doing and if he needs any support.

Dan contacted the Clermont PATH team who met with him in a park. From there, the team did what GCBHS does best. They set up a diagnostic evaluation and allowed different teams/services to wrap around Dan and address his trauma as quickly as possible. This included counseling for his PTSD and depression and care management which assisted with housing and basic needs. Dan was also introduced to the Clermont GCBHS program, Work Initiative Network or WIN and to an employment specialist named Tim.

Says Tim, “When we develop a plan for the client, we always want to address what the barriers are going to be. One of those barriers was that Dan struggled with making decisions. This was due to his mental health diagnosis and the amount of time he spent living in his car. He didn’t get much sleep

because he knew there was always the risk he could be robbed and assaulted – especially with the missing windows on one side. We also knew we had to find him a job close enough to where he would be living because his vehicle was unsafe to drive.” There was also the problem of getting Dan a new driver’s license/I.D. because he did not have an address.

Employment ended up being the main obstacle in getting Dan housed. To qualify he needed a steady income, which meant Tim needed to move fast. Dan hadn’t “worked” for almost 8 years. He had no

resume or computer, and he didn’t have the clothes necessary to interview. So, Tim worked with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). Many times, OOD will assist employment clients with temporary funding to purchase clothing, shoes, a haircut, and fuel cards to get back and forth

to work until paychecks start coming in. “It was a big deal,” says Tim. “It definitely made him feel more confident.”

Before long, the perfect job came along. Dan elaborates, “I get to be out in the community driving and delivering. I like being outside. It’s different every day and I enjoy the freedom. It’s a perfect fit.” And Tim says he’s been the perfect employee, “He’s only missed one day in three years and that was for a doctor's appointment. His manager says he’s the most reliable employee they have.”

Dan says he is grateful, “The staff at GCBHS has changed my life. I was lost and full of hopelessness. But now I have direction and confidence. Tim told me I was in good hands, and he was right. I love not having to worry anymore.”

Check out the full 2023 Annual Report HERE.

*The client’s name in this story has been altered to protect his privacy.

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