Michael gets a new home with help from Goodwill

An American flag posted to a home in a neighborhood.

Michael shared living space in a home with several others. The home’s owner had to make changes, so they gave each person 30 days’ notice to move out. This put Michael in a very tough, unpredictable, and scary situation. There was no back up plan for him. He had nowhere to go.

Suddenly, Michael was homeless and in survival mode. He tried using community resources, like staying at a homeless shelter. But he struggled a lot at the homeless shelter. Other people staying at the shelter would often steal from him. He had his wallet stolen multiple times, his cane, and his backpack. Michael only carried the absolute essentials with him. So, when those essential things were stolen, he felt like he needed to find help elsewhere.

He heard about a program through Goodwill that can help people get stable housing. So, he looked into it. He visited Goodwill’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The team listened to his struggles and began the process of enrolling him in the program. Unfortunately, Michael didn’t have any identification to help this process. It had been stolen at the homeless shelter.

housing support and more

Michael’s SSVF case manager worked to get his identification replaced. But first they focused on getting him housed. His SSVF case manager partnered with Healthcare for Homeless Veterans to help get Michael a housing voucher. This step can take some time. So, while SSVF and Healthcare for Homeless Veterans worked to get the voucher, Michael searched for housing in the area. It was difficult, but he didn’t give up.

That summer, Spokane suffered an outbreak of smoke due to surrounding wildfires. The air quality was very poor, making it difficult for people who have health problems. On a particularly smokey day, Michael visited Goodwill. It had been some time since he met with his case manager because of his own health issues. On this day, Michael was having a hard time breathing. His case manager told Michael he could not go back to living on the streets and started to work on Emergency Housing Assistance paperwork.  

They soon found emergency housing for Michael. He cried with relief and said he was sure he would have “died on the street.” So, his case manager issued him a bus pass to commute to his new housing without having to spend more time breathing in the smoke.

on the up and up

Michael was able to communicate more consistently with his case manager once he moved into his new place because there was a phone in his room. Michael’s his case manager was able to contact him regularly and continue to work on applications for more permanent housing and helping get his identification and social security cards replaced. This would make the housing application process much easier.

A few months later, Michael moved into more permanent housing. He said it was a “Christmas miracle.” SSVF helped provide him with essential move-in items. He got groceries, a bed, dishes, and toiletries. And they helped with his rent and utilities.

Michael stayed in his new housing for several months. But he started experiencing issues with others living in the same place. He communicated this to his case manager. Together, he and his case manager discussed their options with the property manager. Michael and the property manager mutually agreed to end his lease so he could find a better housing fit.

finding the right fit

Michael found another place that felt more suitable for him. He was very happy with the new housing and enjoyed his neighbors. His health began declining and his case manager referred him to the Healthcare Navigator. The Healthcare Navigator offered the right resources for Michael to get the care he needed. But he was reaching a point where he needed in-home caregiving help.

it takes a village

One of Michael’s neighbors heard that he needed a helping hand in his home. So, they offered to be an unofficial caregiver for him. When Michael’s memory started to decline, he enrolled in Goodwill’s Payee Services. He didn’t want to risk losing what he and SSVF worked hard for. 

Since getting help from Goodwill, Michael gained stable housing. And he was able to get his housing voucher. This voucher will ensure his housing affordability. His rent and utilities are being paid through Goodwill’s Payee Services. This is a great help to Michael in case he forgets his bill’s due dates. He is very grateful for all the support he’s received and said if he didn’t have his case manager, “I would be dead without her. She literally saved my life.”

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