In her native country of India, Saari was a medical doctor married to another physician and a mother to three children. She and her family came to the Tampa Bay area so that her husband could pursue advanced professional medical training. Saari, who missed her native country, grew increasingly despondent, and depression overwhelmed her. When her husband and children were to move back to India, Saari’s depression left her unable to leave with them. Reluctantly, her family traveled back to India, while Saari remained alone and depressed in their rented apartment in Pinellas County.
Mental health problems took their toll and Saari was evicted from the apartment when her savings ran out. Homeless, alone and missing her family, she came to Pinellas Hope.
Saari’s Pinellas Hope case manager had a difficult time getting Saari to tell her story. Patiently, the case manager gained Saari’s confidence and sought to assist her in receiving MH services, with the overriding goal of reuniting Saari with her family in India.
The case manger contacted Saari’s former landlord who said she that she found Saari’s passport and other important legal papers when she cleaned the apartment following her eviction. The case manager then worked with several local churches who ultimately donated the funds to purchase Saari’s airline ticket to India. On the day of her departure, the case manager drove Saari to the airport to catch her flight.
Several weeks later, the she received a beautiful email from Saari, thanking her and Pinellas Hope for reuniting her with her beloved family. As Saari stated in her email, “Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, ‘Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!’”
For Saari, and other clients helped by Pinellas Hope, homelessness is not the end; it’s just a bend in the spiritual journey, and in Saari’s case also a geographical journey half a world away, to a unifying God who loves each one of us.
* Client’s name changed to protect confidentiality.