From Homeless to Homeowner

on July 16, 2014 Success Stories and Tags: , , , , , , with 0 comments

After being honorably discharged in 1975, John – like many Vietnam veterans – struggled with mental illness and sought treatment for his condition in Bethesda.  After being released, he managed to secure housing but continued to struggle with his mental illness.  Issues with his veteran benefits led to him losing housing, and over the next 10 years, he went from shelter to shelter in the DC Metro area in order to stay safe and warm at night.  When a hunting knife was found in his possession, John was incarcerated. After his release, John stayed at A-SPAN’s Winter Shelter.  It was at the shelter that John first met Case Manager Sam Gatewood.  After learning of John’s struggles with mental illness, Sam referred him to A-SPAN’s permanent supportive housing, believing that John was a good fit for the program.  Permanent Supportive Housing Case Manager Ayana Bellamy helped John obtain his veteran benefits.  After two months of working with him, she was able to secure housing for John in Arlington.  He has remained in his apartment the past three years and is “most proud that I have been able to improve my credit.”  With better credit, counseling and the stability that permanent supportive housing provides, anything is possible for this veteran.  “I am looking forward to achieving the American Dream by becoming a homeowner.” Besides keeping up on current events, John spends his days working out, taking walks, meditating, and watching comedians.  An apartment of his own allows him to do the things he enjoys.  “I was extremely touched by the furniture that was donated to me by A-SPAN in order to make my apartment a home.”  A-SPAN’s Make It A Home fund provides a mattress, box spring, frame, and other essentials for clients moving into housing. To learn more about the Make It A Home Fund, visit: http://www.a-span.org/get-involved/donation-opportunities/make-it-a-home-fund.

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