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Bic: A Client Success Story
Monday, April 10, 2017 by Communication
Bic: A Client Success Story

Bic is a 65 year old Hispanic male who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS 10 years ago while living in Florida. Shortly thereafter he relocated to Chicago for a brief time and then to the Lake County area, moving into a building where people with interest in the arts live. He has a degree in interior design. He lives on SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) and before coming into our program was several thousand dollars behind in rent. He was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder some years ago which resulted in the loss of a number of part-time jobs contributing to his financial instability. Initially the manager of his building worked with him because of his off and on job situation.

When Bic first came to Catholic Charities in 2015 he had issues with paying rent, a monthly furniture storage locker fee and purchasing food. Since he has been in our program and working with Lisa, his case manager, he has received weekly services including food from our Care Cupboard food pantry, attending groups for emotional support due to social isolation and individual counseling for his major depressive disorder.

When Bic first entered our program he would not ask for help, and Lisa would have to tell him “this is what the program is for, to help.” Lisa had to emphasize that he should call her when he needed transportation to a medical appointment or to come to the agency. He would continually decline transportation assistance because of the costs to the agency. The first few times he received food from the food pantry he cried, and when Lisa asked why he was crying, he stated that no one has ever helped him the way Catholic Charities has helped. He expressed appreciation for the staff, the interns, food, transportation, support groups, counseling and advocacy events.

One day he walked to the agency to see Lisa. He did not have an appointment but waited as she was in a meeting. He brought a notice that his lease would not be renewed and was in a panic. Lisa immediately connected him with Prairie State Legal Services. They were able to assist Bic with the housing issue, the balance owed and got him into a public housing building where he only pays 30% of his income for rent.

He now participates actively in group meetings, AFC (AIDS Foundation of Chicago) round tables, Advisory Committee meetings and is eager to participate in AFC advocacy days in Springfield. He also enjoys translating for other clients at social events. Currently he stated that he is doing so much better and that he loves his new apartment and neighbors. Bic was able to pay off the storage rental fee. As his case manager, Lisa observes that he looks much happier and relaxed. He is smiling and his appearance is immaculate. Bic states that he would not be where he is now if it was not for Catholic Charities.

Note: Client name has been changed to insure confidentiality.

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