I write this blog coming from a standpoint of a veteran that is for all intent and purposes homeless. To explain the title and the purpose of this blog I have to share my personal story. I am a U.S Army veteran that has been honorably discharged back in 1999. Since I have been discharged I have done everything within my power to be self-reliable. Meaning I have done everything in my power not to “ask” for assistance. That attitude changed in November 2017. During this time I found myself since my discharge and for the first time in my adult life I was let go from my job. There was nowhere for me to go or no place for me get help. I was already running behind on my rent. Lost my car and quickly fell behind on many other bills. I didn’t have anything saved up as I was in the process of replenishing my savings. For the first time since I have been discharged from the service I truly needed help before things got any worst.
I have to say that shortly after my discharge my then husband and I went through the regular channels and we were denied. Let me rephrased that we were rudely turned away. Needless to say this was a great motivator for me personally not to use the systems in place. Well this time around I truly didn’t have a choice. Per the suggestions of a few non-military friends I turned to the V.A for assistance. This started my journey through turmoil as well as discovery. The turmoil occurred from me being in a desperate mind frame while not being aware of how things worked. The fear of actually becoming homeless in the middle of winter in NYC didn’t help either. Trial by error while dealing with my anxiety, depression and trying desperately not to have a PTSD episode. My discovery was in finding out all the resources that are out there to assist Vets in getting out of these bad situations and keeping from getting into them.
As I previously mentioned, I currently live in New York and the list of organizations out there to assist Vets specifically is almost never ending. I truly can’t list and name every single one of them. Not to mention as I go through my employment search there are special division’s curtailed to assist veterans specifically. (This is phase two of my journey.) The wonderful part is that the V.A can direct you to the correct organizations dependent on your issue. My immediate need was to find a place to live and to find employment. Yet this wasn’t the only assistance that I came across. There are programs again I have to add, specifically geared towards vets that serve as a way of preventing the dire succumb stanstances from reoccurring. For example financial counseling and education, assistance with applying for V.A help and the list goes on and on.
I say this to you to let you know there is help for you. There is really no reason why any veteran should feel hopeless. There is no reason why they should be homeless and hungry. It doesn’t matter the trails that you are experiencing in your life. If you are a Vet it’s out there for you. All you have to do is ask. There is help out there for you no matter what you are going through.
Addition: Since the writing of this post I have a home. Turning things into a positive.