"Joe," an elderly man with diabetes, used to be a railroad worker in Chicago. For a while, he was living in a cockroach-infested shack with holes in the walls and roof. A caseworker at a local shelter became aware of Joe's plight and convinced him to move to Cache Valley Assisted Living Apartments in Ullin, Illinois, a site of Coming Home, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Had Joe been living in a suburban or urban area, he might have been referred to an assisted-living facility more quickly. But such facilities are rare in rural areas across America.
When Joe arrived, he was given food, a bath and new clothes. He is now receiving insulin daily; his diet is both nutritious and tailored for his diabetes, and he reports that he is greatly enjoying his life at his new home.
A report on the first six years of Coming Home is available on The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Web.