Paul did everything right to lead a successful, independent life. He worked hard in school and joined the Navy. He attended Northwestern University and earned a degree in economics and finance, and went on to the University of Denver for graduate studies.
By age 28, Paul was a vice president of a bank. He married, and had a son. He started a company and kept it successful through the Great Recession. Even with all this prosperity, Paul turned from a Wayzata executive into a man on the streets of Minneapolis, with few options and even less stability.
“Having high powered education behind you doesn’t protect you from mental illness,” Paul said while sitting at Catholic Charities Exodus Residence.
Paul, 56, suffers from severe depression and severe borderline personality disorder with psychosis.
“I see things and feel things that aren’t there,” he explained.
Paul was up against a lot. His illness coupled with financial difficulties and a long, drawn-out divorce turned into more than he could handle. Soon, he was admitted to a metro hospital’s psychiatric ward. He made a series of stops before landing at Exodus, each proving more frightful than the last. Coming to Exodus was like an answered prayer, he said.
“Exodus was a nice change in my life,” he said. “This was the first place I had that I could actually get my feet on the ground to figure out what to do next.”
Thanks to your support, Paul is slowly regaining his footing.
“Exodus was the first safe, stable place I’ve been in since this whole fiasco started,” he said. “The basic things I needed to survive were in question until I got here.”
He came to Exodus with long hair and a bushy beard—ways of camouflaging himself during one of the roughest times of his life.
“I wanted to hide from the world,” he explains. “I didn’t feel like a human being when I first got to Exodus.”
Paul’s new apartment is walking distance to both his medical clinic and his son’s home, and it’s just a short drive to see his therapist.
“I’m going to a place where my life is within walking distance,” he said. “Safety and stability is still the goal.”
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