2011 was a rough year for Bridget. She found herself nearly homeless with no other options to help her and her family survive. Feeling this overwhelming burden, Bridget found out about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) at hvaf.org.
“After losing my job, I was near homeless and I couldn’t afford to pay rent.” Bridget says, “There wasn’t any other help.”
HVAF saw a need in the community for its SSVF program. In mid-October Gretchen Cottrell, HVAF’s Director of Programs and Services, traveled to a conference in San Diego to learn how it could not only help the individual homeless veteran but the entire family.
“I went with an open mind,” says Cottrell. “HVAF and the Homeless Initiative Program (HIP) are the only 2 organizations in Indiana that have received Veterans Affairs (VA) funding to provide SSVF.”
SSVF launched in mid-October and is the first VA funded grant specifically designed to help homeless or near homeless veterans and their families reach stability through case management and financial assistance. As a result of this new program, Jennifer Smith and Rachel Stump were hired as new HVAF case managers.
“The need is great,” says Jennifer. “Through this program, we are able to help entire families, like Bridget, with monthly rent, financial budgeting, job searching, and setting goals.”
Bridget has been married 4 years to her husband Sammie and has a son, Isaiah. In 2008, she served 9 months with the Army National Guard in Iraq.
“I was used to doing everything on my own.” Bridget says, “This program has allowed me to get the help that I need to find a job and become financially stable.”
Bridget is currently a student studying
hotel and restaurant management.
“Now I don’t have to worry about how I am going to pay my rent. I can focus on finding a job and finishing school.”
More information on the SSVF program and a full list of qualifications can be found at hvaf.org.
READ MORE HVAF CLIENT STORIES IN THE HVAF FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER.