Stability of home helps David manage multiple sclerosis

Having supported, long-term housing is reducing David’s stress and, as a result, is helping him manage a chronic illness and addiction.

David was a quality assurance and control consultant for a major oil and gas corporation, working in remote campsites and enjoying life. Despite the multiple sclerosis (MS) he’d been diagnosed with 25 years earlier, he managed to function — until a crisis with alcohol unexpectedly debilitated him.

“It happened very suddenly,” he says. “The alcohol made it much worse and it changed my life.”

MS is a very unpredictable disease and the shock of its exacerbation affected David tremendously. He was unable to work in the same capacity and his economic condition deteriorated along with his medical condition. The money he had become accustomed to no longer flowed into his bank account.

David spent the next two and half years in six different residences, never staying in the same place long enough to find any stability. The stress of moving and constantly wondering how he was going to pay the rent aggravated his painful symptoms. “It was horrible,” he remembers, adding that stress is the “number-one enemy” of MS.

David’s case manager introduced him to a building operated by Bishop O’Byrne Housing with part-time on-site staff who help tenants access various services. David had no reservations about making the move. “I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to live or how I’m going to get around,” he says. Living at here has drastically reduced the stress in his life and, as a result, his health has improved immensely.

There’s no way for David to know what the future holds for him in regards to MS. But he hopes to stay in his home long-term. “This is comfortable,” he affirms. “I finally have stability.”

I finally have stability.