Friday, 09 June 2017

On the Brink of Homelessness

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© Xalanx | © Xalanx |

“Clifford,” an Air Force veteran in his mid-70s, was living in Colorado when he found out his niece in Arizona had cancer. She didn’t have much time left, so he moved to spend her last days with her, so she would not be alone.

Clifford transferred his social security benefit to Prescott, Ariz., so he could stay, but when his niece passed away, Clifford had nowhere to go. Clifford’s niece’s health deteriorated so quickly, that Clifford lost her in weeks, and with her gone, he also lost his place to live.

Veteran Gets Help with Housing

Without knowing anyone in town, Clifford reached out to Catholic Charities in Prescott and found out they help veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Services included case management, personal financial planning, assistance applying for benefits and more, depending on eligibility.

“All of our clients are veterans,” said David Vogt, Catholic Charities veterans services case manager, “some are down on their luck since they got out of the service and others have had a significant event that led them down this path to needing help.”

Catholic Charities Helps Veterans with Resources

The veteran services staff found Clifford emergency housing until they could find him a permanent place to live. “When we find housing for a client, we set them up with a bed and bedding, also pots, pans and cooking utensils. We want them to be able to eat and sleep,” said Vogt. “They can also get clothes at the Catholic Charities community closet. We tell them about other resources too. The Veteran Affairs office, U.S. Vets and Goodwill have employment specialist. The DAV Furniture Center will supply other household furniture.”

Clifford couldn’t be happier with the help he got. “Catholic Charities was terrific! They were always with me and found me a place to live,” said Clifford.

Safe Place to Live for Veteran

Catholic Charities veterans services covered Clifford’s rent for three months. This gave Clifford a chance to get back on his feet. “Catholic Charities helped me while I was waiting for my social security to get transferred here,” said Clifford. “They also helped me get furniture at the DAV furniture center and now my new place has everything I need.”

Clifford is able to draw his social security benefits and also works part time at a laundry mat. He is thankful that Catholic Charities was there to help when he needed it most.

“I’ve told several veterans to go to Catholic Charities,” said Clifford.  

Learn more about Catholic Charities veterans services and how we help veterans with case management, housing and financial counseling and more.

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