A Hero’s Best Friends

A veteran worked on his feet every day, challenged by neuropathy while working in shipping, receiving and deliveries. After getting laid off when the company downsized, the veteran began to experience increased marital problems, primarily due to financial hardship. Shortly thereafter, the veteran foreclosed on the home he had lived in comfortably for seven years.

Following the foreclosure, the veteran and his wife split up. The veteran still had his four-door sedan and two dogs, Rocky and Ginger.

By Christmas, he had been living in his sedan with Rocky and Ginger for 10 months. He had run out of money, food, warmth and hope.

He felt overwhelmed and decided anything would be better than sitting in his car freezing. He proceeded to drink a large amount of anti-freeze. His dog Rocky began pulling on his arm, nudging him and whining.

The veteran had almost lost consciousness, but with Rocky’s encouragement he decided to call 911. He was admitted into the hospital and survived the attempt on his life.

“If I hadn’t had them, I probably wouldn’t be here. Taking care of my dogs and keeping gas in the car have been my priorities over the past 4 years,” the veteran told his VA caseworker years later.

The veteran says his experience of getting approved into the HUD-VASH program, as well as finding housing to accommodate his dogs, really took a lot of pressure off of him. When he received the news of approval for housing, tears rolled down his face as he exclaimed, “It just hit me! This is going to be over and I didn’t hardly have any hope left. I’ll finally have a place to live.”

The last obstacle to housing was finding an organization willing to provide the money for the pet deposit as most programs prohibited it. The veteran was unwilling to move forward without his companions Rocky and Ginger.

“I wasn’t sure where the money would come from but I remained real hopeful,” he said.

A request for assistance was submitted to Veterans Matter. The veteran waited anxiously for the decision. After hearing the story it was a no-brainer – we immediately approved it. With the deposits approved this veteran’s last barrier to overcoming homelessness was eradicated.

Thousands of veterans housed nationwide – and two dogs.

We take care of our own.