Empowering Triumph: Ray’s Ride to Success with Goodwill’s Help

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"It's great to know that there are folks like [SSVF]... and the ones behind the scenes, out there to offer a hand-up. We just need to reach out. I'm glad I finally did." -Ray
A Life in Control

Combat Veteran, Ray, always had control of his life. He owned a small, veteran certified business. He was proud to serve his community. When Ray faced difficulties with his health, life changed. And he learned that there are things in life that cannot be controlled.

Turning Point in Life

Because of his health concerns, Ray had to close his business. This forced him into early retirement. He had limited savings and faced financial struggles. He sold equipment from his business. But the money he got from that didn’t last long. Ray started relying on his credit cards for his bills and living expenses.

The Struggle with Health and Finances

Ray filed for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Veterans Administration Disability Compensation (VADC). He kept working on the mounting paperwork required for SSDI and VADC. And he had his medical appointments to go to. The stress of his situation was starting to take a toll on him.

The Reality of Homelessness

Then, Ray learned that the house he was renting had sold. He needed to find a new place to live. Life now felt very out of control for him. He didn’t know what to do. He had limited income and used his credit cards to their maximum. But he needed shelter. So, he moved into his car.

A month passed and Ray found himself eligible for Social Security Income (SSI). And he received benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program helps give food benefits to low-income individuals and families so they can afford healthy, essential groceries.

Ray’s next step was to find stable housing. He needed to find a new place to rent. But he still had a limited income. He couldn’t afford the high move-in costs and deposits. Ray accepted that he no longer had control over his life. He needed to reach out for help.

Seeking Help

So, he called the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. When they learned where he was located, they put him in touch with a local VA medical center in Spokane, WA. The medical center staff then paired Ray with Goodwill’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).

Goodwill’s Support for Veterans

An SSVF case manager partnered with a Volunteers of America (VOA) housing specialist to rapidly get Ray into stable housing. Together, SSVF, VOA, and Ray worked to find him a home. Then, the VOA housing specialist found an apartment community that had an upcoming vacancy. Goodwill and VOA helped Ray through the application process. And they were by his side during his lease signing.

A New Home and a New Beginning

This lifted a huge weight off Ray’s shoulders. Now that he had stable housing, he could focus on his health. But the services and support didn’t stop at finding a home for Ray.

A storefront for a Veteran's thrift store with an open sign.

Overcoming Homelessness with Support from the Community

The SSVF case manager bought essential items such as cleaning supplies, toiletries, linens, and even a mattress and bed frame. And they took Ray to a Veterans thrift store in Post Falls, Idaho called Newby-Ginnings. This non-profit organization helps Veterans get basic household necessities, peer support, resources, and referrals. They provide whatever the Veteran needs at no charge. Ray got all the furniture and appliances he needed for his new apartment.

Gaining Back Control

Having Goodwill’s support through this tough time was the hand-up that Ray needed in his life. He loves his apartment and feels like life is good again. He feels like he is gaining control back in his life. Ray is grateful for the help he got from SSVF, VOA, and Newby-Ginnings. He is thankful for all these resources and organizations working together to help eliminate Veteran homelessness.

“It’s great to know that there are folks like [SSVF] and all the others mentioned, and the ones behind the scenes, out there to offer a hand-up. We just need to reach out. I’m glad I finally did.”

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