This Veterans Day, we express gratitude for all of those who have served in our nation’s military. Unfortunately, we know that some of these veterans do not feel remembered as they struggle to survive on the streets and in the shelters of Washington, DC. According to the 2015 Point in Time Survey, in the District of Columbia:
- 408 veterans are experiencing homelessness, including:
- 42 veterans who were unsheltered
- 238 veterans in Emergency Shelters
- 9 veterans in Emergency Shelter for families
- 113 veterans in Transitional Housing
- 6 veterans in Transitional Housing for families
Approximately 15% of Christ House patients are United States veterans. Today, we remember one patient in particular whose name is Howard.
Howard served during the Vietnam War. After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, he established a successful home repair and remodeling business. Unfortunately, a trusted employee stole much of Howard’s savings, leaving him in financial distress. Soon, Howard lost his home and found himself sleeping in his car and secretly in the homes he was remodeling. Over time, his health deteriorated and breathing became difficult, forcing him to go to the hospital. He was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and hypertension.
Howard was discharged to Christ House. Because of his past experience, he trusted no one, including our staff. The nurses and cooks started working with him on a special diet to address his high blood pressure. The case manager quickly secured health insurance and an increase in his social security benefits. With these successes, Howard grew to trust the staff and became more receptive to their efforts to help. His case manager convinced him to enroll in veteran’s benefits which soon placed him in an affordable housing program, providing him with an apartment and the resources to better manage his chronic illnesses.
With your support, we will continue to care for those who have served in the armed forces.
Thank you to all of our veterans!