My name is Alex, and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 31 years ago. It’s defined as a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in mood, energy, activity, and concentration. These dramatic shifts range from periods of extremely elated, irritable, or energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, indifferent, or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes).
In essence, bipolar disorder has disrupted every aspect of my life at one point or another. It’s affected my relationships, work-life balance, educational goals, and yes even my home. In my early 20’s I was facing it alone, but these days thanks to some very special moms and Carrfour Supportive Housing I’m right where I need to be.
The Key Clubhouse of South Florida’s founding board members and Carrfour Supportive Housing joined forces to build Northside Commons with the Key Clubhouse on the ground floor. It’s been 2 and half years since I moved into a one-bedroom apartment at Northside Commons and became a member of the Key Clubhouse. It has totally changed my life. I’ve been working for over 8 years, and now thanks to Carrfour I have affordable housing. Northside Commons is a beautiful seven-story supportive housing complex built by Carrfour Supportive Housing with 80 units of subsidized apartment units for very low-income individuals, primarily serving those with serious mental illness.
Having a place to call my own has given me confidence and I’m now in the process of going back to school. At the age of 53, I’m finally managing my mental illness instead of it managing me. I thank the heavens above for organizations like Carrfour and the Key Clubhouse who put people before profit. As if all these blessings weren’t enough, just recently, I was asked to join the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition Board of Directors where I can now make a difference in other people’s lives by sharing my experiences with people who can make a difference in supportive housing.