HOPES encountered Steve “Pops” Popovich just under a year ago while case managers were doing street outreach. Since becoming a patient, Pops has become a familiar face around the Community Health Center as case managers and a team of medical providers empowered him to take control of his health and helped him navigate the process to permanent housing.
Pops is now housed and has responded well to his cancer treatments. He recently wrote about his experience working with HOPES on the road to better health:
Nine months ago, I was a homeless man who had just turned sixty. I had reached the lowest point in my life, I was about ready to give up on hope. Knowing that I had to do something, I made contact with HOPES through the needle exchange. The outreach worker I dealt with went out of her way to help me, advocating strongly on my behalf to get my initial appointment and enrollment.
The staff at the clinic were friendly and professional. The more frustrated and lost in paperwork I became, they grew kinder and more helpful. Solving my problems and correcting my mistakes. The doctor who saw me treated me with respect, talked to me as an adult and eased my fears of the medical profession. Within a week I had a case manager, and advocate for SSI, and had been placed into emergency housing.
Since then, I’ve had two serious diagnoses. One concerning the loss of my right eye and the other of stage three lung cancer. I’ve also gotten into permanent housing and had my SSI approved. I am now a cancer survivor and there’s a chance I may keep my eye. Through all of this, six weeks of radiation and seven rounds of chemotherapy, the staff at HOPES has been there for me. Looking out for me, caring about me and holding my hand when it was truly needed.
I owe an immense debt of gratitude to the staff at HOPES, from the janitor on up, I’ve been treated with nothing but kindness and respect. The staff at HOPES have given me my life back. The only way I can hope to repay them is by passing their kindness onward to others.