After Steven’s wife passed away in 2014, his health declined. Eventually, his health was so poor that he lost his job.
His trailer was also in poor condition. The trailer park sold, and Steven had to improve the condition of the trailer or move it elsewhere. He was unable to do either, so he lost his housing.
He stayed with different friends for a time, camped out, or slept in his car. Total, Steven was homeless for three years, living out of his car for over a year and a half.
“My life was hopeless,” Steven said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
Just when things seemed that they could not get any worse, Steven’s car broke down in a grocery store parking lot, right next to a Goodwill Donation Service Center. That grocery store had a flier for Goodwill’s supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).
When Steven asked the Goodwill donation service attendant about the SSVF flier, the attendant encouraged Steven to call the number provided. He did.
The next day, an SSVF case manager came to Steven and signed him up for help through the program.
Goodwill’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program paid to have Steven’s car fixed. They provided him with emergency housing for a time until he was accepted in a temporary housing program. Steven was then accepted into a 55-and-older apartment complex in Post Falls.
After Steven received his permanent housing placement, he needed move-in items. Goodwill helped him with household items like a bed, dishes, and bedding.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families helped Steven complete a voucher process that helped him become financially independent.
Steven said Goodwill was a Godsend. “Without Goodwill, my life would be hopeless. I feel like I have direction now.”
Steven said that because of help from Goodwill’s SSVF program, he does not have to worry about his basic daily needs anymore. “I am so much more comfortable now that I have a place,” he said.
Now Steven says that he can think about ways to give back to the community. He wants to find a part-time job to supplement his income, and he would like to volunteer at Newby-ginnings or other community outreach programs.
“I don’t know what I would have done without you guys,” Steven said. “I didn’t know what Goodwill did for people until now. It is amazing! My case manager went out of her way to meet my needs and help me meet my goals. You have been such a blessing!
For more information about Goodwill’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, visit http://homesforveterans.discovergoodwill.org.
To learn more about other programs that can help people build independence, visit https://discovergoodwill.org/i-need-help/.