July 21 at 11:25am

Navy Veteran builds a home with Interfaith’s help


America is privileged to field the best-trained military force in the world. However, some veterans find their skills don’t immediately transfer to a civilian job market. Others face severe challenges adjusting to civilian life, and many are coping with the debilitating effects of injuries and disabilities as a consequence of multiple deployments in combat zones.

As a result, many veterans fall into post-battlefield trauma, unemployment, homelessness, and substance abuse. Interfaith’s veterans department has one simple purpose: To return our nation’s heroes to the honor and dignity of a healthy, stable, and productive life.

Local Navy veteran Jamie moved out to San Diego in April 2010 when she was stationed in Coronado. Her first deployment came that fall in November 2010 aboard the USS Carl Vinson and her second deployment quickly followed in November 2011. Shortly before Jamie headed back out to sea for the second time, she lost an immediate family member to cystic fibrosis.

“We were practically twins,” said Jamie. “Her death was very tough on my entire family and it weighed heavy on my mind going into my 7 month deployment.”

While she sought out counseling for help coping with her loss, when the end of Jamie’s Navy contract came in October 2013, she decided the best thing for her to do was step away from the military, move home, and set her sights on a life-long passion: law enforcement. In December 2014, she welcomed her first daughter and “miracle child,” Sadie Rae and decided to raise her family back in Southern California. However, when Jamie returned to San Diego, things didn’t go quite as planned.

“I moved back with many goals in mind, but I found myself with no affordable place to live, my funds running low, and nowhere to go,” said Jamie. “I was on my last leg, living in a hotel with my daughter, and we were soon to be homeless. That’s when I reached out to Interfaith.”

After living in a hotel for nearly three weeks and exhausting her savings, Jamie began working with Interfaith’s veterans department.   Within two weeks, Interfaith moved both Jamie and her daughter into their own apartment in Oceanside.

“After contacting Interfaith, I went into the office for a face-to-face appointment rather quickly,” said Jamie. “My daughter and I were welcomed with open arms and I felt so comfortable.”

Knowing that her daughter has a safe place to call home has allowed Jamie to build up her savings again, in addition to map out her career path. She is currently pursuing a career with the California Highway Patrol and hopes to begin the training process in September.

“Interfaith’s services for veterans has given me more than they will ever know,” said Jamie. “They gave me life, hope, assurance, motivation and more importantly, a place for my daughter and I to lay our heads down at night.”

Interfaith Community Services is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit social services agency. For information on how you can contribute to the organization with either monetary gifts, in-kind donations, or through volunteer work, please contact Interfaith’s Chief Development Officer, Robert Adams, at radams@interfaithservices.org or by calling (760) 489-6380 ext. 206.