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Sasha’s Story – From Homelessness to a Life She Dreamed Of

Sasha's Story - Human Support Services - HSS client story - Waterloo, IL

Sasha likes to sweep. She wants - needs - to keep the space around her clean and safe.

It may seem like a small thing to many, but sweeping up the dirt, rocks and leaves that sully the sidewalk is one small thing she can do to control her environment.

While Sasha is safe and well cared for now, Sasha spent far too long living in environments where she had no control.

A victim of domestic abuse, Sasha was found homeless, living on the streets of East St. Louis. Even then, she was sweeping and cleaning up leaves, trying to clean up the space around her - struggling to find comfort in the chaos.

Social workers moved her from the streets to a hospital and eventually to a now-closed group home. Unfortunately, the staff there was not equipped with the right resources and Sasha suffered in a toxic environment. The residents there were referred to simply as “them.”

By the time Sasha arrived at Human Support Services (HSS), she was in a manic state. Lacking the proper medication and treatment regimen, her behavior was extreme and erratic.

Finding Support

That was six years ago. Today, those who know Sasha describe her as  “calm, kind, trusting and hard-working.”

With a stable living environment in an HSS apartment, proper medication, and patient, caring staff that has focused on person-centered supports, Sasha has evolved into the best version of herself.

Ashley, a direct care professional who has worked with Sasha since she came to HSS, said “She is like a flower that has blossomed.  She is funny, caring and simply amazing!”

Fiercely independent, Sasha dreams of having a job in the community and would love to own her own house. She loves having her apartment and personal space.

“Being at HSS has taught me to like being around people again,” Sasha said. “They are not my family, but we are a family. They are all I have.”

Thanks to donors like you, HSS is able to provide the support to give clients like Sasha the opportunity to live their best lives. You are making a difference. Every day.


*Some details, including the name, have been adjusted to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our client.