The Stories of Your 1000th, 2000th, 3000th, & 4000th Veteran Housed
4,000 Veterans Housed: It Really is THAT Simple
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.
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.
On behalf of the other Kamara’s who need us, I thank you.
The 2000th Veteran You Housed – March 2018
George is a veteran of the Air Force and served in Vietnam. He was referred to us by the HUD-VASH team out of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
George had been homeless for over a year. As is often the case, it was after ending a relationship that he found himself homeless – living out of car, with friends, or wherever he could find a place to lay his head and stay out of the weather.
He connected with a VA social worker who got him signed up with the VA and he was approved for the HUD/VASH program. They helped him find a place and, because of YOUR support, he was able quickly move into an apartment, WITH a fireplace. He told us it is “wonderful on the cold nights!”
After you housed him, George was able to easily receive the medical services that he needed, and he no longer has to worry about where he’s going to stay the night. Upon being housed he expressed his appreciation by saying, “This is the best thing that could have happened to me.”
What we do know is this – George only needed $400 to cross the ready and waiting threshold. And because of you who donated in 2018, on March 5th, 2018, he got his own home for the brave in the land of the free.
It really is that simple.
The 3000th Veteran – July 2019
Derek is an Army veteran living in Detroit, Michigan. Like many of his fellow veterans, he has a history of Adjustment Disorder. (Yes, it is a real thing.)
He resided for many years with a significant other. After he had a stroke, Derek became homeless when his significant other just dropped him off at the John Dingell VA Medical Center without any plans.
As this was BC, (Before COVID), the social workers were fortunately able to place him in an open bed at one of their VA transitional shelters in Detroit.
According to his Social Worker, “The veteran’s housing selection passed inspection on July 19th, 2019 and a security deposit request was submitted and approved the same day through Veterans Matter, which allowed the veteran to immediately
secure housing. Without the support of Veterans Matter, the veteran would not have been able to secure permanent supportive housing.”
Derek is still housed today and reported that he is doing WONDERFUL despite multiple barriers.
It really is that simple.
The 4000th Veteran – October 2020
Patrick Lufkin, a Texas Army veteran, was experiencing difficulty with maintaining housing due to his income, health, and family dynamics. . . and became homeless.
Unfortunately, the only shelter in the local area had limited services due to COVID-19. Homeless and having difficulty securing housing, Patrick sought temporary refuge at a local motel while seeking assistance through the HUD-VASH program.
Patrick shared that he was in fear of his safety while staying there. . . but it was better than sleeping on a piece of cardboard.
Thankfully, the VA HUD-VASH team out of the Charles Wilson Outpatient Clinic helped him secure his HUD-VASH voucher and find suitable housing.
He needed $759, so we delivered your donations straight to the landlord covering the deposit and overcoming the ONLY barrier preventing him from entering that ready, permanent housing.
If you donated this year, it was BECAUSE OF YOU that Patrick has a safe home to lay his head at night and can begin to rebuild his life.