During the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were closed, Dylan, a 52 year old Army Veteran, took leave from his job to care for his three children. He did this so his estranged spouse could continue working. Due to the extended leave, he lost his job and his unemployment payments didn’t cover all the family’s expenses and the rent. He hates having to ask for help, but found himself about to be evicted.
While in an appointment at the VA, Dylan was introduced to Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) at Brightpoint. The SSVF program assists Veterans in finding housing, while also focusing on other life areas to improve the chances for long-term success. Within a week, Dylan was enrolled and approved for assistance to get caught back up on his rent. However, the trailer park where he was living refused payment and evicted him anyway.
With the help of his caseworker Angie, Dylan was able to connect with Liberty Landing and stay there while he searched for housing. The children were able to stay with their mother during the nights, but most days, Dylan had to care for them while she was working. The shelter accommodated as best they could by letting him spend time with his kids in their conference room for a couple hours a day.
Dylan somberly revealed the moment when his son figured out he was homeless. Dylan reassured him, but his son spent two days crying. Dylan worked out with the shelter to take his son to his room, so he could see that daddy had a roof over his head and a place to sleep. Seeing his son’s reaction to his circumstances motivated Dylan to push forward to find stable housing.
With Angie’s guidance, in a few weeks Dylan was approved for a place to live. Brightpoint assisted him with move-in costs and temporary financial assistance for rent and utility deposits. Dylan commented that he felt well understood throughout the experience and that the landlord collaborated well with Angie.
“Brightpoint has been very supportive. It has all been a very positive experience,” said Dylan. “Angie is very responsive, and understands me and my humor. I’m able to joke around, and just be myself.”
Now, Dylan has an apartment and a vehicle. Currently he is working part time and is aiming for full-time employment. He can now feed his kids and pay for gas. Dylan stated that without the assistance he received from Brightpoint, he would be living on the streets somewhere. Moving forward, Dylan intends to work with the SSVF Health Coordinator to get Medicaid and his VA disability re-evaluated.
Dylan is grateful for the coordinated services that Brightpoint has provided and that he had a place to turn to when he thought he had nowhere else to go. “I never knew the support was out there,” he said. “Through the help of Brightpoint, I went from bottomed out, to turning the corner.”