Veterans Helping Veterans: The Supportive Services of SOME for Homeless Veterans

Angela Wilson’s story is one that is all too familiar for many veterans. After serving in the Navy, Angela found herself struggling to adjust to civilian life. She had difficulty finding and keeping a job, and as a result, she was faced with financial instability. This eventually led to her becoming homeless, going between her car and hotels with no place to call home for herself and her daughter.

It was a difficult and trying time for Angela, who was also dealing with PTSD and service-connected disabilities. She felt lost and alone, not knowing where to turn for help. It was at this point that her Veteran Affairs social worker introduced her to SOME’s affordable housing continuum.

Through SOME’s transitional housing program at Fendall Heights, Angela was able to find a safe place to stay, food to eat, and counseling to help her deal with her PTSD. It was also at SOME that Angela was introduced to her caseworker, who became a vital resource in helping her turn her life around.

SOME provided Angela with resources to help her apply for her veteran benefits. This, in turn, gave her the financial stability she needed to start working on her long-term goals. Angela’s caseworker also helped her find financial management resources.

As Angela worked on herself and her daughter, SOME was there every step of the way. They even helped her daughter with her academic struggles, which Angela didn’t even realize was an issue until they arrived in D.C. Her daughter went from nearly repeating a grade to being at the top of her class, consistently receiving the principal’s award and making the honor roll. With the resources provided by SOME, she had been able to enroll in reading programs and summer school and working with her teachers to ensure she received the support she needed.

Angela was accepted into SOME’s Accelerated Housing Program at Thea Bowman House on Minnesota Avenue, which allows residents to save up to purchase their own home by depositing a percentage of the rent paid into an escrow account which residents later get access to upon moving out. Through hard work and determination, Angela was able to achieve her long-term goal of purchasing her own home. She credits SOME for helping her get to the point of achieving homeownership as she was able to pursue the opportunity to be a part of Vocational Rehabilitation through Veteran Affairs Business Track Program and attain her veteran benefits during her 3 years with SOME.

Today, Angela is thriving in her new home, and her daughter is excelling academically. She encourages others who may be in a similar situation to use the resources available to them and to come up with a plan for their future. Angela’s story is a testament to the transformative power of non-profit organizations like SOME and the impact they can have on people’s lives.