Noel Milan is a Telecare Hero!

Noel is a Telecare hero because he helped rebuild one of our member’s life.

Rose is a 40-year-old Thai woman. She was referred to us from Villa Fairmont; at the time, she was a mystery woman. She was very disorganized and delusional; she was very unclear on her history. She has spent many years as a homeless woman, living in a cardboard box at the Berkeley Aquatic Park. No one knew how she came to be in the United States; no one knew her status. With the good work of the Villa Fairmont staff, she gradually improved and she was able to tell us her story.

Rose told us she married an American man and moved to the United States in 2008. After a year of marriage, he kicked her out of their home; this began her cycle of homelessness. During her time of homelessness, she lost all of her US and Thai identification. Without any identification, she was unable to get any benefits or return home. At the time of her discharge from Villa Fairmont, Villa and STEPS staff worked to place her in a homeless shelter. Soon afterward, Noel began working with her.

Noel used Telecare funds to support Rose and assist her purchases for her basic necessities, such as hygiene products and food. After a great deal of research and close coordination with her case manager at Asian Community Mental Health Services, they were able to locate her permanent residency card, proving she was a US citizen; this enabled him to apply for General Assistance with her. She soon had her own spending money. After her experiences in the United States, she developed a single goal: To return to her mother and sister in Thailand.

Noel soon found that traveling to Thailand was a complicated process; he needed to help Rose get a temporary passport as well as proof that she was a Thai citizen. He contacted her mother in Thailand; she sent Noel a copy of her Thai birth certificate. He then spent several months negotiating with the Thai consulate in Los Angeles; with her residency card and her birth certificate (and a small mountain of supporting paperwork), they were willing to issue a temporary passport to Thailand.

During these months, Rose diligently saved her money; she bought herself her own ticket back to Thailand. Noel then coached Rose on how to travel back to Thailand. He worked closely with her to ensure that she had a two week supply of medications and that she had a copy of her medication list. He coached her on obtaining a psychiatrist back in Thailand. He wrote instructions for her to present to the travel agents in Japan about how to direct her to the correct flight. He then assisted her in traveling to the airport. With some sadness, he said goodbye to Rose; she was extremely grateful and tearful for all the good work and support that Noel provided. She was now on her way home! With Noel’s support, she was able to fulfill her multi-year goal of returning to her family. Noel is a Telecare hero for taking Rose from homelessness to happiness.

Noel is extremely compassionate and dedicated. He has the ability to develop close bonds with everyone around him. Thank you, Noel, for everything you do!

Nominated by Jim Christopher