I was a young mother and needed stability to care for my family. I come from a family with a long history of military service, so it seemed like an obvious choice for me to join the Army.
After returning home from service, I went to school and got a job. After a while, my husband and I started trying to find a place where we could stop living paycheck to paycheck. We decided to come to Houston because the job market seemed strong and the cost of living wasn’t as high as where we were. We thought it would be a great place to establish ourselves.
After we moved, my husband found a job right away, but I struggled to find employment. We were staying with family, five of us crammed into a one-bedroom apartment. We needed to get a place of our own, but we didn’t have a lot in savings and couldn’t find a place in our price range. We looked into Section 8 and income-based housing. I tried to get registered with VASH, but hadn’t made much progress.
Eventually we were coming down to the wire. We had only a couple of days until we had to move out of our current living situation.
I came across U.S.VETS by accident. I was given a list of phone numbers to call to try and find help with housing, and just happened to call U.S.VETS. I was put through to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) department, and invited to come in to meet with a case manager the next day. I went in to U.S.VETS on a Thursday – one day before my family and I had to leave the apartment where we were staying. My case manager explained the benefits of the program and how they could help me.
The following week – the week before Christmas – my family and I moved into our new apartment.
I’m grateful for the warm and welcoming staff at U.S.VETS. I didn’t feel any of the shame that can often be felt in situations where you need help. They extended themselves above and beyond the call of duty. If not for their genuine giving and loving spirit, my family – like so many female veteran families – would slip through the cracks.