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Formerly homeless Eureka resident now owns home

EUREKA- A formerly homeless Eureka woman, Kellie Jack, now owns a home. 

Jack moved to Humboldt County from Yuba City in 1995.  She’s had a mental illness since childhood.

“Some days it's really hard to get out of bed and just perform easy tasks," said Jack.

She has also attempted to commit suicide multiple times.

"I hated the system and so I did not use its services, which didn't benefit me very well," Jack said.

Then, after her last suicide attempt in 2004, she finally sought services.

“I used some community resources, a couple of them being faith center and within faith center, there's a program called celebrate recovery, and they helped me, and same day services through Humboldt County Mental Health," said Jack.

Although she says progress was made, she says she was still making poor choices, and was living on the streets of Eureka on and off. 

"I remember being cold and I remember being hungry,” Jack said.

But Jack kept trying to improve her living situation and eventually bought an apartment in 2008.

"I was able to keep a budget and learn how to do that and I worked and still had my SSI for a while and slowly worked my way off of SSI and Medi-Cal," said Jack.

She also found the Hope Center in 2008, which she says provided a safe environment for her to talk about her mental illness with others.

"I started to tell people about who I was and it relieved some of that guilt and shame," Jack said.

After getting a job at the Hope Center, she kept saving money and practicing financial responsibility until she could use a bank loan to purchase a house.  That purchase was finalized on Friday.  Her husband, who is also formerly homeless, says her hard work has been an inspiration.

"Watching her and other people around me made me strive to be better, not to just settle for what was given to me," said Joseph Jack, Kellie Jack’s husband.

"There's a lot of people out there on the streets and they can come back.  I never thought that I could come back when I was on the streets begging for a dollar so that I could go get a hamburger and enough napkins so I could use the bathroom," said Jack.

Kellie jack says she uses her new home to provide temporary shelter for homeless people in the community at times.