NY Veteran Secures Home Story - VA Homeless Programs
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Attention A T users. To access the combo box on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Press the alt key and then the down arrow. 2. Use the up and down arrows to navigate this combo box. 3. Press enter on the item you wish to view. This will take you to the page listed.
Menu
Menu
help for homeless veterans

Stay Connected with the VHA Homeless Programs Office

Sign up for email updates.

Subscribe
Contact the Homeless Veterans Outreach
E-Donate
Veterans Crisis Line Badge

VA Homeless Programs

 

NY Veteran Secures Home Story

A Veteran Success Story in Ending Veteran Homelessness

Jump to Success Stories Involving:

NY Veteran Secures a Home for Her Family, and an Opportunity to Serve Others

The Challenge

Shortly after separating from the military, U.S. Army Veteran Antheia Evelyn moved to New York City with her husband and three children to pursue a bachelor’s degree in health care management. Although Mrs. Evelyn’s education was paid for by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the associated housing allowance was delayed. The couple struggled to find affordable housing for their family, and for a time lived in cramped quarters with Mr. Evelyn’s parents. Lacking a steady income and experiencing an unstable housing situation, Mrs. Evelyn’s—and her children’s—grades suffered. The family faced homelessness.

The Fix

For help, Mrs. Evelyn turned to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New York Regional Office, where she met with a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment counselor. Given the family's housing instability, the counselor recommended she stop by the office of Sandy Browning, the homeless Veterans outreach coordinator whose job it is to serve Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. With her three children in tow, she did just that, and had what turned out to be a life-changing meeting.

Ms. Browning, also a Veteran and a longtime social worker, knew she needed to connect the clearly upset Mrs. Evelyn with the right services and support—and do it fast.

After giving the kids some fun activities to keep them occupied, Ms. Browning phoned Ruth Batista, LCSW, contract housing coordinator at VA's Harlem Community Resource and Referral Center. Ms. Batista said Mrs. Evelyn qualified for a Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher, and in short order located an apartment that would accept it. To provide the family the means to move in, Ms. Batista arranged to have the apartment security deposit covered by a New York-based service provider funded by VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant program.

The Result

Thanks to the VA counselors' swift action to secure services and support from VA and its partners, the Evelyn family moved into a home of its own. Mrs. Evelyn and her children are both performing better in school. What's more, she is now preparing to become a Veteran liaison at her college, where she'll help Veteran students advance their education. Among her duties will be educating Veterans on accessing available VA benefits and other resources, services and support.

To prepare for her new role, Mrs. Evelyn turned to Ms. Browning for guidance. "The best advice I can offer is simply to listen," Ms. Browning responded. "I am so happy to see Mrs. Evelyn thriving, and I am glad that she's taking the opportunity to pay it forward by listening to and helping other Veterans."

"I'll forever be thankful to Ms. Browning for her patience and empathy that day," Mrs. Evelyn said, "and most importantly, for helping our family secure a home."

Back to Success Stories Home »

cell phone icon

Make the Call

Dial 1-877-4AID-VET
(1-877-424-3838)

Access VA’s services for homeless and at-risk Veterans, available 24/7.

chat bubble icon

Chat Online

Homeless Veteran Chat

Confidential, 24/7 online support for Veterans and friends

Chat Now

cell phone icon

VA Medical Center
(VAMC) Locator

Locate Your Local
VA Medical Center Now

Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can call or visit their local VA Medical Center (VAMC) and ask for a Homeless Coordinator. Use the VA locator tool www.va.gov/directory to find your nearest VAMC and call or visit today.