For Liam, home is where his health is
Liam Lynch, 54, is leading a life he never imagined. A successful high-tech career in Silicon Valley with nine U.S. computer security patents to his name, Lynch just two years ago was riding high on his success as a computer and software engineer.
Then his life began to unravel.
Extreme forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate left his friends and co-workers concerned. At their urging, he went to the doctor. After a battery of tests, Lynch returned to his doctor’s office to get his result.
“The doctor looked at me and said, ‘You’ve got Alzheimers.’ I was devastated.”
A new life
With the help and urging of friends, Lynch moved back to Canada, ending up in Richmond to be close to his family. Although medication and treatments have slowed progression of the disease, the single biggest stressor in Lynch’s life continued to be housing, and the fact that he could no longer live alone.
Lynch’s housing insecurity left him bouncing around the community which, in turn, did a number on his mental health. “I began to worry that I would end up on the street like all those people around San Francisco that I’d see on my way to work, and that scared me.”
Luckily for Lynch, his need for housing coupled with health care services coincided with the opening of an innovative, new housing development in Richmond.
Storeys, located near the intersection of Granville Avenue and No. 3 Road, offers 129 units of affordable rental housing. The non-profit owned and operated units, which include on-site supportive services, were developed to help some of the most vulnerable people in Richmond.
As a VCH client, Lynch’s name was put forth to Coast Mental Health – one of Storeys project partners – and Lynch moved into his new apartment shortly after opening in December.
At Storeys, Lynch can live independently, knowing that someone on-site is managing his medications and his well being. Thirty seven other VCH clients also live at the Storeys development and receive supportive services there. They, too, are doing well, just like Lynch.
“If not for this place, I would be the mess I was before. I’d probably die sooner or be living on the street,” said Lynch. “This is the best place for me. The people who help me here, the only thing they want for me is to succeed. I am so grateful to have a place like this.”
What is Storeys?
Storeys is the result of a unique partnership between all three levels of government and a consortium of non-profit organizations, comprising Coast Mental Health, Pathways Clubhouse, SUCCESS, and Turning Point Recovery Society.
In addition to rental units, Storeys provides supportive services, programming and administrative space to further support tenants in achieving housing stability and life skills. The combination of partners and supportive services allows a variety of vulnerable groups to be served, including low-income families and seniors, and individuals with mental health and addictions issues.