Meet Erica, Army Veteran
Erica served in the Army for 4 years after September 11, 2001. She was honorably discharged, and became homeless when she and her children fled a domestic violence situation. She heard about the VIC through the Metro Court Homeless Advisory Coordinator, but was reluctant to seek out services for fear of her children’s safety. After speaking with an Intake Specialist at the VIC, who assured her their safety was our priority, she enrolled in Emergency Housing and was immediately removed from living on the streets. While most Veterans that enroll in Emergency Housing are granted only a week of service, an exception was made for Erica and her children, so that we could ensure their safety, security, and continued support. Our case management team determined Erica needed to focus on her upcoming court date, and ensuring she and her children felt safe. After her court date, she met with our Housing Specialist who helped her find an apartment that would continue to make her family feel safe and appreciated how her needs were the priority. Our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program helped pay for the security deposit and several months’ rent, while our Donations Department helped her move into her new home and provided some furniture so their new house would look like a home. Erica also received help with locating employment, and her VIC case manager helped her connect with the Veterans Employment Representative from the local Workforce Office that helped her find a job. Erica said she was so grateful for the VIC and the way every team member cared about her feelings and needs. She also said for the first time in her life she truly felt free and independent.
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