Finding love, community and stability at The Madison
Twenty years ago, Ernie found himself at a crossroads.
While he was in the hospital after surviving a suicide attempt, his mother introduced him to The
“My initial impressions were not very good, and I thought I wouldn’t be staying here very long,”
Ernie says. However, he stuck around, partially due to being placed on the wrong medication
and feeling like he was “on zombie mode” for 16 years.
But Ernie says Siloam taking over The Madison in 2011 brought significant improvements,
making it feel more like a home. Over the years he made connections with many of the staff and
fellow residents, and after switching medications 4 years ago, he says he’s become “more
aware of his life,” enjoying things like field trips and social outings with residents, as well as
volunteering and helping around the facility.
“I work here casually, and I have developed many acquaintances with the residents – I pretty
much know everybody”, Ernie says.
As a peer support to his fellow residents, Ernie recognizes the value in the services provided at
“It has given me stability in my life,” he says. “I had a past where I never had much stability…
The Madison is the longest place I have ever been in my life, and it has given me a place to call
Ernie says The Madison has also helped him come out of his shell.
“I interact more and have learned more social skills, which is something I struggled with growing
up as a teenager and young adult. In turn, I have found my own way of communicating
When asked for advice to someone considering moving into The Madison, Ernie said, “Be
authentic, be yourself, and be prepared to live and share your experience with other people”.