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A Veteran on the Verge of Homelessness

A military life is all Natasha ever really knew

She married a veteran right out of high school and enlisted in the Army one month later. Two years from then, she was honorably discharged.

She left the military unaware of the resources available to her. For more than a decade she had very little guidance and was suffering from a disabling illness.

There aren’t enough times I can say thank you. It was such a rough time. When you’re not in control of your everyday life, it’s very hard—it’s horrible…especially when you have someone else depending on you for their safety, for their security and there is a possibility you won’t be able to provide that. As a mom, that was the deepest cut to me. And I was angry for a while.” ~ Natasha, Army Veteran

She worked for State of North Carolina for several years—but as a result of a service-related injury—Natasha was forced to take medical leave. Due to her physical health and inability to work a full-time job, Natasha fell behind on rent. Natasha exhausted her finances—including her military retirement—to maintain a home for her and her children.

Unemployed and facing eviction, Natasha reached out to any organization that would listen to her situation. Everywhere she turned, she heard the same story, “We can’t help you until you are actually homeless.”

Finally, her Case Manager at Veteran’s Affairs (VA) recommended Passage Home.

Passage Home believes that a home represents and provides so much more than shelter. It provides the stability, security, and the comfort our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members need to improve their long-term outlook. Without a safe place to rest your head at night, you are never able to look more than 24 hours ahead.

Natasha enrolled in Passage Home’s Veteran Program that assists homeless and at-risk Veterans by helping them obtain or maintain housing through case management, life advocates, and support. In Natasha’s case, we made sure her—and her nine-year-old daughter never had to leave their home. Together—with her Life Advocate by her side—they set a goal of stability, security and self-sufficiency.

But it wasn’t that easy. Many of our funding sources have time limitations for how long we can support a client. Additionally, getting approved for earned benefits that offer additional support to our Veterans usually takes longer than our funding allows. We had exhausted all financial support and without full VA benefits, she was once again at the brink of homelessness. Natasha started packing her bags to leave her home.

Passage Home tirelessly seeks out new funding streams—including donors like you—to help support our Veterans and other Wake County residents. And, at the very last minute, we received a private donation that allowed Natasha to stay in her home. The additional time in her home allowed her to finally receive her full earned VA benefits without ever having to experience homelessness.

Today, Natasha is securely in her home, focused on long-term goals and the future of her family.