Each of our residents has a unique and interesting story. These stories make us here at Housing Options so proud of what we do. Not only are our residents on their own journeys to recovery, but they are engaged with making the community around them a better place as well.

Marge B. is a Housing Options resident who describes her biggest hurdle as, “not having enough hours in the day.” When asked what sorts of things she would do with more time, her response is, “All the things I love.” She is a very active senior citizen, and about four times a week she walks from her home into downtown Evanston to shop and eat out at restaurants. Among the other things Marge loves are baking, cooking, and volunteering. She adores Evanston’s Century Theater and recently saw the movie Hairspray, which she gives a rave review. Marge also does a great deal of volunteer work with organizations in and around Evanston including the Levy Center, St. Francis Hospital and Winnetka Thrift Shop. She says she wants to give back as much as the city of Evanston and Housing Options have given to her.

When Marge first heard about Housing Options, she was living in a local mental health facility, and as she describes it she was, “a very sick mental patient.” In 1992 she was referred to Housing Options. She has been a participant in the Housing Options program ever since. Marge has had trouble in the past with taking her medications properly, but has been working through this problem with the Housing Options staff ever since she entered the program fifteen years ago.

Because of her time with Housing Options, Marge now describes herself as, “a very useful, happy camper.” Marge now lives with a roommate, and is able to be independent while still getting the care and support she needs. She thanks the Housing Options staff for the opportunities and assistance they have provided her, enabling her to live independently and not be a burden on anyone else. Indeed, she says that the staff at Housing Options are her favorite aspect of the program. “Everyone has helped me so much,” she says.

Housing Options has also opened up other opportunities for Marge in her recovery, and she recently became involved in a day program for older adults recovering from mental illnesses. She travels there twice a week from 10:00 to 3:00 to cook lunches and attend sessions about medications and independent living with other patients from across Chicagoland.