Joe’s Story

Joe lives with schizophrenia. He is thankful that it has been 15 years since he was homeless. Joe does very well living independently in the community. He is a friendly and quiet neighbor. He sees his doctor and therapist, follows their advice, and takes care of himself. However, despite Joe’s best efforts, he came close to losing his home. Joe’s landlord informed him that his lease would not be renewed.

Minor problems had escalated. A patio door did not shut properly, and in a state of anxiety, Joe irritated his landlord by calling hourly to report it. Joe’s neighbor threw loud parties late at night, and the noise aggravated Joe’s symptoms of schizophrenia and anxiety. Joe called the police several times, which caused tension with the neighbor. A good landlord/tenant relationship deteriorated quickly.

Joe called Mental Health Minnesota. His advocate listened to his concerns. Joe wanted to stay in his apartment, so the advocate referred him to a housing attorney. The advocate then helped Joe communicate with the landlord. The advocate explained to the landlord that Joe didn’t mean to be a nuisance, but he was responding to symptoms of an illness. The advocate helped Joe understand that he needed to call the landlord less, and they made a list of other ways for Joe to deal with his anxiety. Today  Joe has a good relationship with his landlord, and he again enjoys the security of not facing a harsh Minnesota winter without a home.