|“I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed to making this possible.”|
CHERYL, NYER URNESS HOUSE
In April 2013, Nyer Urness House opened its doors to its first residents. Cheryl, who moved from the Compass Housing Alliance shelter at Hammond House, became the first person to call Nyer Urness House a home. What followed would change her life forever.
Before she became homeless, Cheryl describes herself as having a fear of success. Mental illness contributed to her self-sabotaging different opportunities that came to her. Without enough income to afford housing, she eventually became homeless.
She found a bed at Hammond House, an overnight shelter for women operated by Compass Housing Alliance. The shelter gave Cheryl a safe place to sleep at night, but it also meant being mindful of her possessions, and keeping only what she could carry.
“All of my belongings needed to be baggable,” she says. “Here (at Nyer) I can start having nice things again. It took me a while to realize, but I could start putting down roots.”
Now in housing, Cheryl says she’s better able to manage the symptoms of her mental illness. If she needs help or even just a friendly person to talk to, she can turn to the dedicated staff at Nyer Urness House. She checks email, looks up bus routes and gets caught up on news in the building’s computer lab. And she prepares meals for herself in her own kitchen—she even took a cooking class hosted last year at Nyer.
“I owe this place everything,” Cheryl says. “I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed to making this possible.”