MARTA’S STORY: Marta V. served in the US Navy for 10 years. When she left the service she found it very difficult to find steady employment. She lived off her savings for a year while trying to find work. Eventually her savings were depleted. Soon thereafter she lost her apartment and began living on a friend’s couch.
One day she was referred to AHI’s Chesapeake Veteran House’s (CVH) program for homeless women. During her time at CVH she was able to find part-time employment as well as continue her education in logistics, the field she worked in during her time in the Navy.
After a few months Marta found employment, caught up on her bills, and was able to reestablish her credit. She was also able to repair the relationship with her family. Now that she has graduated from college, Marta is working full-time and volunteers as a counselor for others who have become homeless.
She credits the intense social work assistance and access to programs designed to support veterans she learned about at AHI for her success. “AHI has given me a new lease on life. I am grateful. Thank you to everyone at AHI for what you do each day to help veterans who have lost their way. You help them get back into life!” Marta shared.
JOHN’S STORY: John S. joined the US Army when he was 19. He was soon deployed to fight in the Afghanistan War. Despite the stress and strife of war, he made some great friends and learned to really survive for the first time in his life.
When he returned stateside he found himself homeless after living with his family for a while. He didn’t understand it at first but he was experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He began migrating from shelter to shelter and self-medicating to deal with the memories of war he wanted to forget.
One day he was reunited with a former colleague who served with him in the war. His friend told him about AHI. John discovered the mission and structure were the right fit for him and soon he found himself in a recovery program to deal with his newly formed substance abuse issues, and intense counseling to handle his PTSD.
After just a few months in the program, John graduated. He landed full-time employment using the skills he learned in the Army and has moved into a two-bedroom apartment. After an additional few months he was able to pursue and obtain custody of his son. “I am so grateful for finding AHI. They helped me get my life back. Now I can focus on being the best father I can be,” he said.
68% of homeless veterans reside in principal cities, 32% reside in suburban/rural areas