Serving our veterans in need: Success comes one client at a time “There is a support system out there. You just need to ask for help.”
My name is Robert.
I am a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran who found myself homeless for the first time at the age of 54, after my wife asked for a divorce in the winter of 2013. My wife and I managed to stay together through the Holidays of 2013 leading into 2014, struggling to make our marriage work. Unfortunately, I was asked to leave my home in February of 2014 with nowhere to go.
Fortunately, I had a car and employment. I have an extensive employment background working as a security guard. I quickly found a room to rent in Aurora and rented from an elderly woman for about six months when her health suddenly failed in the fall of 2014. My landlady’s family decided that she needed assisted living so they decided to put her home up for sale and I was only given two days to move out.
My pride prevented me from turning to a social service agency for help, so I reached out to some of my oldest friends for assistance. That’s when I learned that people you think you can rely on aren’t always there for you when you really need them. I fell into a deep depression and lost a significant amount of weight due to my stress. I sought spiritual counseling from my parish in Aurora. They provided me with guidance and emotional support. I then attempted to seek emergency shelter so I could have a place to sleep, only to be told that the local shelters could not accommodate my needs because I worked second and third shift.
I remember how difficult it was to ask for the help. I really thought I could manage on my own. I registered at the Hines VA Medical Center in the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program and my case worker helped me to understand that I wasn’t asking for help, I had earned the assistance through my service in the Corps. That’s when I found the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans.
I called the SSVF hotline and got screened and enrolled right away. I was connected to the DuPage County Veterans Assistance Commission, which temporarily paid for me to stay in a local motel so I had a place to sleep during the day. Things seemed to be coming together after I got connected with MSHV. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am so thankful for my SSVF Case Manager, Carlie Yacobi, for her patience and putting up with me. I got so frustrated at times with my situation. It felt like every time I took one step forward and began to make progress something would happen and I would get pushed back, not two steps, but four or five steps.
Carlie served as my advocate and connected me to Jane Tyschenko, MSHV’s director of programs. I was found eligible for the Miller Affordable Housing Program. After a short time on the waitlist, I moved in on January 23, 2015. I am very pleased with the services and housing so far. I don’t know where I would be, or what would have happened to me if MSHV was not there.
Things may not be perfect now, but it’s a far cry from where I was six months ago. I am anxious to look back six months from now and see what I’ve accomplished. I have a better outlook on life now. Six months ago I could not say that. Even though asking for help may have been hard at the time, now I know you don’t need to do everything on your own. There is a support system out there. You just need to ask for help.
How you can help
Because of people like you, the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans is able to fulfill its critical mission of providing veterans and their families with housing and support services that lead to self-sufficiency. We rely on our donors and volunteers who partner with us to help ease the suffering of veterans and their families and make sure no hero is left behind!
Your tax-deductible donation to the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans will help us to provide homeless and at-risk veterans with housing and needed services to help them achieve self-sufficiency with dignity. Ways to Donate
Midwest Shelter For Homeless Veterans
433 S. Carlton Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187
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