From the front door to the mailbox, it’s easy to take keys for granted. Until you don’t have them.
“Homeless people don’t need keys very much. There’s not too much that you have to unlock.”
And that was the case for Robert M., when the 54-year-old U.S. Navy veteran found himself out of work, homeless and suffering from alcoholism. He was a planner. At age 54 he had not needed to ask anyone for help. But you can only plan for so much.
In June 2014, Robert checked into an inpatient center in Marion, Indiana where he stayed for 90 days. Then, he enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Substance Abuse Recovery and Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP) at Marion Hospital. Next, Robert applied for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program but did not qualify.
In 2014, he was placed in housing at HVAF. He worked with Case Manager Lindsey Bennett who helped get him on track. While at HVAF housing, Case Manager Kayla Jackson, MSW, LSW, enrolled him into its Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. SSVF helps eligible veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits including assisting clients with budgeting and creating a stability plan. Qualified veterans may also be eligible for limited payments to third parties, such as landlords, utility companies, and moving companies, if these payments help veteran families stay in or acquire permanent housing.
The SSVF program helped him secure the rental and with all of the initial move in costs.
“When you become near homeless you lose a lot of material things, says Robert. “You lose your self-confidence and pride and along with those things goes your drive to better yourself. HVAF provided me with a structured living program and thanks to the SSVF program, I have received a brand new bed, pots and pans. I didn’t have a lot and now I have rebuilt my life,” adds Robert.
Arriving at HVAF, Robert says, was a blessing in disguise because he was able to get the resources to start over. Now marking one year in his own apartment and a steady job, Robert is setting an example to inspire others and reminding us that there’s a lot to be thankful for.
“Just think about how fortunate you are to have the things you need and family, friends and the ability to be together.”
Robert has been in successful recovery for over 2 years. He credits his success to a team effort coming from many organizations. He is also a Certified Recovery Addiction Specialist.