Meet Veronica, a Marine Corps Veteran
Veronica served in the Marine Corps for eight years, and was honorably discharged. After the military, Veronica went to nursing school and got married. She was working full-time as a nurse and raising her family, when her marriage ended. After, her father became ill and she travelled regularly from Chicago to Albuquerque to take care of him. This put a serious strain on her finances, and Veronica had to make the difficult decision to leave her job and support her father. When she moved permanently to Albuquerque, her world was in turmoil when her father suddenly died. Her ex-husband then told her he didn’t want custody of their daughter, and Veronica now found herself alone and in financial distress taking care of two people. Veronica and her child found themselves homeless after several months, living at friend’s homes or in their truck.
A family friend offered to let them stay at her apartment, but the unit was very crowded with their own family. After looking for work, Veronica heard about the VIC when she was at the local VA looking at her educational benefits. After talking with a VIC team member, she was enrolled in Emergency Housing and she and her daughter moved into a hotel room while she was assessed for additional services. While working with her VIC case manager, a plan was made that helped prioritize her needs. It was determined that Veronica would be enrolled in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program, and worked on locating permanent housing as she worked on the challenges that she needed to overcome to remain stably housed and independent. After several weeks, Veronica received great news that she had been hired at the local Air Force Base Exchange, and subsequently found an apartment that she and her daughter could afford. The SSVF Program helped with a deposit, rent and utilities. Our Donations Program helped with beds and furniture for the home, including a donated laptop for her daughter to do online schooling during the pandemic. Veronica continued to work the SSVF Program, and worked with her VA Vocational Rehab representative to enroll in college where she is working toward obtaining her master’s degree. As part of our SSVF program, Veronica will also get help with the costs of the nursing license and associated fees helping transfer them to New Mexico so she can get better employment. After just six months, Veronica was able to do this and then found a full-time position helping other Veterans at the local VA hospital. She thanked the VIC for helping her family when they needed it the most and for providing a service she didn’t know existed.
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