August 21 at 3:17pm
Veteran family moves from homelessness to self-sufficiency
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.
Grayson, Jhuan and and their four year-old son Alex moved out to San Diego after hearing about the benefits and programs available to veterans through the VA. While they had always made enough to support their family and live comfortably back in Arkansas, the family was shocked by the high cost of living in Southern California.
“Back at home, when you’re finding a place to live all you needed was the deposit and first month’s rent,” said Grayson. “But we came here and in order to move in somewhere, we needed two to three times the rent in income. We couldn’t even apply anywhere, we just didn’t have the money.”
With nowhere to go, the family moved into a hotel for the next month, completely exhausting their savings. It was then that Jhaun, while researching organizations and resources available to veterans and their families, found Interfaith online.
“I called on a Friday, they asked if we could make it through the weekend, and then brought us in for an appointment the very next Monday,” Jhaun said. “After that, Interfaith gave us motel vouchers, inspected each of the rooms before we moved in and made sure we had enough room for the three of us. They worked so hard and eventually found us a home.”
Today, the family is happily settling in to their own apartment in Fallbrook, thanks to the help of Interfaith’s veterans’ department staff. They received help setting up CalFresh benefits, filling out SSI forms, were told where to find food pantries, and were given furniture vouchers, with which they were able to buy beds and a dining room table. An Army veteran of 11 years, Grayson is enrolled in a certificate program for digital film and media and is even in the process of getting a canine companion dog to help with his PTSD.
“Everything we’ve ever needed, even the small stuff, they’ve helped with all of it,” said Grayson. “We never knew a place like Interfaith even existed.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (760) 489-6380 ext. 206.