Victoria’s Story

Victoria is a 48-year old woman living on the streets of New York City. She has been diagnosed with severe depression and has a ten-year history of using heroin and cocaine. Victoria also has a son that is in the child welfare system since she is unable to care for him.

Victoria was eventually enrolled in the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) Health Home program, where she met Nicky. Victoria was hesitant to trust Nicky, her Health Home Care Manager, since people in the past betrayed her trust. Once Victoria started to trust Nicky, she began to take her well-being more seriously. Nicky arranged for Victoria to see a therapist and psychiatrist. Nicky also also connected her to a substance use treatment program. Nicky was even able to help Victoria get her son back, but only to find out shortly that he had stomach cancer. Nicky remained by Victoria’s side and even became an advocate for her son—Adam. Nicky would help Victoria by getting Adam the appropriate treatment and following up on his care. Nicky often visited them when they were in the hospital for Adam’s treatment. The VNSNY team even got together to get them Christmas presents after Adam completed his surgery. Despite everything Victoria was going through, she was determined to get better mentally and physically for her son.

Nowadays, Victoria and Adam are doing much better. Adam is now attending kindergarten and continuing his cancer treatment. They are currently living in a family shelter, but Nicky is in the process of helping them apply for supportive housing. She is also helping them get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Nicky continues to assist Victoria in connecting to the appropriate services to help her continue to improve the health and mental health of her whole family.