Formerly Berkeley Food & Housing Project

A Veteran’s Journey from Homeless to Housed

These are just some of the people we have been able to help through our program Roads Home: A Pathway to Housing for Homeless Veterans which operates across the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Sacramento, and Amador.

“Harriet” and “Kevin” first met in the 1960’s but when Kevin joined the Army and got stationed in Florida they lost touch. Nearly 50 years later they rediscovered each other on social media and picked up right where they left off.

When the couple moved to Northern California, they had planned to stay with relatives until they got on their feet, but when that didn’t work out they found themselves living in their car. On top of that Kevin was undergoing treatment for cancer. Unable to find anywhere that would accept them on their limited SSI income, they reached out to the VA hospital where Kevin was receiving treatment. They were given the number for Roads Home. “After the first phone call it just kept rolling. There was no ‘we’ll call you in a few weeks.’ It was like “OK, we’re going to do this, and this, and this.’ And they’ve done everything they said they would, and more.”

Harriet and Kevin pictured here with their Case Manager, Lisa (center)

I was totally shocked with all the help they’ve given us, and just the encouragement to know that somebody’s back there helping us out instead of just closing the door on us.”

They soon started working with their Case Manager, Lisa, who helped them to search for an apartment and also made sure they had everything else they needed in the meantime such as funds for car repairs and necessary household items. “It’s not only the support in finding us an affordable apartment, but the financial help has allowed us to purchase some of the things that we needed but wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.”

Kevin and Harriet are now happily settled in their new apartment, and Kevin’s health is much improved. “I’ve been telling everyone about Roads Home. We got the help we needed! I didn’t think we were going to get it because I’ve been all up and down the East Coast and I’ve never found [a veteran’s program] that treats me the way this one does.”

Harriet and Kevin in their apartment

I believe that the help we got from Roads Home helped his health problems, because he wasn’t stressing about us, he could concentrate on him.”

Since the program’s inception in 2014, we have been able to house more than 500 veteran households, and prevent nearly 200 others from falling into homelessness. It is thanks to our collaboration with the VA that we are able to help people like Kevin and Harriet, and yet there are gaps that this funding cannot cover.

Please help the fight to end veteran homelessness by making a tax deductible donation today:

  • A gift of $250 could help buy non-perishable food so our clients have something nourishing to eat when they first come in for an interview
  • A gift of $500 could stock our agency outreach vehicle with essential items to distribute to homeless veterans living outdoors

Read more about the Roads Home program here.

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