LIMA — Many homeless people are also dealing with mental health issues.
A 2014 study by Harvard Medical School indicated that “about a quarter to a third of homeless have serious mental illness — usually schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression.”
Linda Scott wanted to do something about the problem.
She’s turning a rental house she owns at 621 Michael Avenue into Ella B’s group home, a home for the homeless with mental health issues. Ella B was her grandmother and she wanted to honor her by naming it after her.
“She always loved a lot of people at our house and when she got older she became a little lonely after my grandfather passed away. And she said wouldn’t it be nice if we had a house that we all could live together like a big old family and I already had that vision. I was telling her about it, but she ended up passing away before I got a chance (to start it). It was always a vision of mine and in my heart to start this home. This will be the first group home in Lima (for homeless mentally ill people),” Scott says. “I’m really ready to get it up and get it running now.”
She’s spent the last three years training with the Meal Health Board Association in Columbus and has seen the need for this here in Lima.
“There is a need because there are so many people that are out here, just walking around — don’t have anywhere to live. They’ll have no meals. They don’t have any way of making sure there’s a way to get their medication. A lot of people with mental illness stop taking their medication because they feel that they are doing better, but they don’t realize they are better because they’re taking their medication,” Scott says.
Ella B’s group home is family-oriented.
“It is Christian based and that way they can be comfortable and they can feel like they’re in a family atmosphere. This will be a big help for them because it’s so needed,” Scott says.
Scott says she’s jumped through all of the legal hoops to make this home a reality and says even the neighbors are OK with it.
“The neighbors are fine and they’re excited, excited to have something that’s positive in the neighborhood,” Scott says.
Scott has Facebook group she’s started https://www.facebook.com/groups/539826800064756/ where she can be contacted for more information.
Right now there are no tenants in the home but she hopes to have someone living there before the end of the month.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.