When Veterans Still Face Battles
Homelessness isn’t selective. For more than 30 years, Family Promise has seen families from all backgrounds and regions of the country struggle with housing crises. That includes military veterans, who comprise more than ten percent of the homeless population in the U.S.
Disabled veteran David and his three children were living out of their truck when they found Family Promise of Brevard (FL). Family Promise helped him initiate a job search, gave him budgeting skills, and connected the family to appropriate social services. Family Promise also secured a VA voucher so the family could move into housing. Once they were settled and stable, David and his children wanted to help other families battling homelessness.
“We wanted to give back to families going through the same thing we did,” David says. The family surprised Family Promise of Brevard with a $2,000 check.
David is grateful for the support he received rebuilding his life.
“As a single dad of a girl and two boys, there was no organization out there that could help,” he recalls. “Family Promise made it so we didn’t have to be torn apart.”
VETS WITH PETS
When Berger, Elida, and their two children were evicted from their home, Berger didn’t immediately disclose he was a military veteran – he felt there were vets in need of greater assistance. The family found Family Promise of Greater Phoenix (AZ) when searching for shelters that accepted pets and could accommodate their two therapy dogs.
Family Promise’s Pets with a Promise program, developed with PetSmart Charities, kept the entire family, including pets, together during a critical time, minimizing the trauma and disruption of their situation. The children continued to excel in school and activities without skipping a beat.
Family Promise facilitated a job opportunity for Berger and ensured his eligibility for rapid re-housing through a veterans’ support agency, and the family soon found a new home.
HEALTH AND HOME
A cancer diagnosis was the beginning of trying times for Air Force veteran and single dad Brian. His medical treatments halved his work hours, eventually leading to the loss of his home. Brian sent his 16-year-old son Brennan to stay with friends and began sleeping in his car.
He exhausted every resource he could find – veterans connections, social service agencies, shelters – but the programs in his area catered to single moms, and his income, though limited, disqualified him from other benefits.
Father and son were reunited at Family Promise of North Fulton/DeKalb (GA), but the trauma had taken its toll on Brennan. He was disheartened and struggling at school.
“All he wanted was his dad and a stable life,” says Brian. “Family Promise helped us get there.”
Brian worked with Family Promise to pay off his debt and find housing, all while battling his illness. And when Brennan was ready, Family Promise helped the teen find a summer job. Now a senior in high school, Brennan’s debating between following his father’s footsteps into the Air Force or attending college.
Brian’s still fighting for his health, but he feels hopeful about the future. The family was recently selected to receive a vehicle through a national car donation charity, and they remain connected to Family Promise.
“I’ve had great mentorship at Family Promise. We’re taking it one day at a time now,” Brian says.
This Veterans Day, Family Promise extends a resounding thank you to all the retired servicemen and women, as well as active duty and reserve military personnel, who have worked to keep our nation safe and free.
Happy Veterans Day from all of us at Family Promise!