You have now helped house over 4,000 homeless veterans in 25 states. FOUR THOUSAND. That’s a lot of veterans!
It makes us feel good, for sure, but first. . . we know that is ONLY 4,000. Secondly, and this is the harder one, introspectively we have wondered, “Do they really stay housed? Do we really do any good?”
To find out, we reached out to the 1,000th, 2,000th, and 3,000th veteran you housed to answer those questions. You will be surprised by the answers.
The 1000th Veteran You Housed – February 2016
This one makes me cry. . .
Kamara was proud of his ten years of service in the U.S. Army, including Desert Storm. About a third of the veterans we house become unhoused due to financial or domestic upheaval. Sometimes, the former causes the latter. Kamara was such a case. The economic strain caused relational stress with the mother of his three children. They split the house, and he got the outside.
We often talk about community outreach efforts (We call them blitzes. Veterans Matter was founded because of one of those blitzes to the streets, woods, and abandoned buildings).
Kamara was connected to the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans and the HUD-VASH program after a community outreach effort, where he was linked with medical care, legal consultation, and a pathway to housing.
The HUD-VASH Social Workers at the Toledo CBOC, part of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, found him suitable housing, and all that stood between him and that housing was just $459.50 (Yes, just $459.50. That is nothing to some, but everything to him).
Because the referral to Veterans Matter was made here in Toledo, an hour later the Social Worker came by to pick up the check for just $459.50. This was February 29th, 2016.
That was the day YOU HOUSED KAMARA, YOUR FIRST 1000TH VETERAN!
He is still stably housed! But listen to this:
This is a veteran, who served our nation for ten years, identified his goals including “being the best father I can,” and securing a “better job,” where he could utilize his mind and professional skills.
Well, because of YOU, once he was housed, he has been able to sustain stable employment, resolve outstanding debts, better manage his mental and physical health, and most importantly, restore his relationship with his children.
That is how it works. . . It really is that simple. You did that. You did that with your donations of $459.50 in 2016. You were his everything.