This week, we want to share a “Case of the Week” from our corporate office in Liberty Township OH.

Bob Julian, our Services Director, visited with a veteran that was referred to us by the local Veterans Service Commission. This man is a Vietnam veteran exposed to Agent Orange. He is suffering with lung cancer right now, taking chemo treatments. His gas has been shut off in his residence.

Bob called the gas company and was able to reduce the required payment from $400 to $200. Then Bob called several other agencies for more help for this veteran and got the same answer everywhere – all out of funds. Then one of them told him there is just one place that might help – Veterans’ Outreach. When the man realized that Bob was calling from Veterans’ Outreach, he generously extended his gratitude for all that we do.

Then Bob called Protestant Family Services and they agreed to help this veteran. In collaboration with them, we were able to get the gas turned back on. In just a matter of minutes, we were able to respectfully help make this veterans’ life a little easier.

This week’s case comes from our Sarasota FL office, as written by our Regional Manager Bob Graham.

On the advice of her case worker at the Viera (FL) VA Hospital, Betty called the Sarasota office for help.  Six year Navy, single mom with a 4 year old daughter, and a low paying job typical of the Florida economy, she was struggling to cover her insurance premium and let her water bill go.  The water was shut off and those of us who have raised kids know just how dirty a 4 year can get without really trying.  I contacted the water company, guaranteed the bill + restart charges, and water is back on.  Betty (and I’m sure the daughter) are just delighted (FL heat indexes are running 105 – 106 currently!).

This week our “Case of the Week” comes from our office in Sarasota, FL as told by our Regional Manager, Bob Graham.

A veteran from Lakeland, Polk County applied to us for assistance, referred by the VA. This is our first request from Polk County, which means we have now helped veterans in at least 18 counties in Florida hundreds of times. He asked for prompt rental help.  His wife developed a leg infection and is in the hospital following leg amputation.  Both he and his wife are on Social Security disability – he can’t work and now she cannot.  Her check was garnished for previous overpayment and they cannot meet their overdue rent – facing eviction while she’s hospitalized and they have a 17 year old daughter at home.

Veterans’ Outreach was able to help him with his rent.

Today’s “Case of the Week” directly celebrates Labor Day in a very meaningful way. According to the Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

You’ll need a tissue for this one. It comes from our Grayson KY Regional Manager, Tammy Black.

I was contacted by KDVA about a vet that needed a bike to get to work. Habitat for Hummanity is building him a new home and it will be ready labor day. He is a cook and has been offered a position at Embassy Suites as their cook. He couldn’t take this job because the bus didn’t run at the times he needed to get to and from work so he just wanted a bike to get him to this job. He is a very hard worker and told me many times how blessed he truly is. So I went to Lexington yesterday and met Heather French Henry and Trina Patty from KDVA. Robert already had came up there the week before in the rain and picked out the bike he wanted. Once he found the perfect bike we went ahead and bought him lights and a nice lock for it as well. He was so happy and appreciated everything all of us have done for him. I kept telling him that it should be us thanking him. I can’t wait to go to his house and see it when he gets to move in. He said he was going to invite us to a BBQ. What an amazing day to help someone change their life and give back to them after they sacrificed for us. Today Trina got this letter from Robert.

ROBERT

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you and your staff mainly Trina in the matter of getting me a bike, I want to thank Tammy at veterans outreach also but don’t have a email for her, your staff and you are some of to have you and Trina personally, along with her husband are most wonderful people I have ever met and was so  humbled  to have been in your presence and to think you took time out of your day to personally come to Lexington to be a part of this, that day will never leave my memory. I was so close to tears and finally walked away cause I didn’t want you guys to see me cry, I am in tears writing this and graciously thank you from every being in my heart, and am glad you and your staff is so much into helping us veterans in any way no matter how small or big, again god bless and thank you.

This week we will publish the “Case of the Week” from our corporate office where we see hundreds of veterans each month. We like to publish cases from the regional offices to encourage more veterans to go to the offices for help.

A young Army veteran recently discharged didn’t transition well from military to civilian life. He suffers from PTSD and found himself with broken relationships and unable to keep a job which then led to homelessness, often sleeping under a bridge.

He was referred to our organization from Family Services. We immediately provided him shelter, food, clothing, and bus passes. He came back several times for additional supplies while he was getting his life together. Our Services Director, Bob Julian, worked with Family Services to get him counseling which has helped him manage the PTSD. In the meantime, he has been able to apply for jobs and now he has a very good chance of securing employment.

This “Case of the Week” comes from the pen of Bob Graham, the Regional Manager of the FL office.

A veteran that is a single parent of 2 girls, age 4 and 2 1/2, is struggling to make ends meet while he carries out his parental responsibilities. He has fallen behind on his water bill, asked his VA HUD-VASH case worker where he could turn to for assistance, and was directed to us for help before the water was turned off.

I immediately contacted the provider, guaranteed the $138.98 overdue which avoided shutdown. Payment was sent in a speedy manner to complete the transaction.

He is really grateful that he doesn’t have to worry about having no water while he’s minding his girls.

This week, our case comes from our office in Hartselle Alabama.

Recently, a VA HUD caseworker came in and asked if there was something we could do to help a veteran that he was working with. This veteran was given a place to stay by HUD and a card for food, but was robbed and lost his food allotment by the robbery.

We said certainly, went to the food locker and fixed him up with a box of food to carry him over until HUD could replace his allotment card. The Alabama VA HUD caseworker and associates were very appreciative of our help, as was the needy veteran.

The overall dignity and quality of life for each veteran that comes to us is our primary concern, often times that means meeting the most immediate need.

Today, we bring you a “Case” from our Grayson KY office as written by our Regional Manager Tammy Black.

We had a 20-year veteran come into the office with his wife and child. The veteran was very concerned about his little girl. The child has a disease that causes her teeth to decay away and is very painful. The came in and explained that she was going to need them all removed and it was going to cost them $2700 and they did not have the funds to pay for it.

Although that is much more than we could help with, we were able to give them $100 check towards her dental and we also gave them a whole months worth of food from our food pantry so that their grocery money could also go towards the dental which should enable them to put quite a bit more to the bill. As a side note, our food pantry is filled with all food groups including meats and fresh foods.

As he was leaving the office, he broke down in tears because we didn’t make him beg like other agencies had. We are so happy that we can help make this little girls life better considering the sacrifice her father made for us!

This week our highlighted “Case of the Week” is from our Lexington, KY office as written by our Regional Manager Donna Lillis.
I will call her Ms. Dee. She is one of our homeless veterans. She is one of the nicest people I have met, very humble lady. She was in the Army almost 6 years. Afterward she got married and had one son. Her husband left her and she was forced to get a divorce. Struggling she did manage to work and raise her son. Then he moved from NC to Lexington KY. She decided to move here to be close to her son last year. She tried to find work and it didn’t work out to stay with her son.
She found her self homeless for the first time in her life. She came into the office to see if we could help her. She didn’t have rent or utility bills, nor a place to cook food. She did find a woman’s shelter that accepted her. They tried to find her a job. On one of her visits here she picked out some work clothes from our clothes donations. I told her they were free and she said I don’t have any money but I can help straighten the clothes for you. She spent about 3 hours sorting the clothes neatly.
Every time she came in she had a large tote bag that held all of her belongings, couldn’t leave anything at the shelter. She had no transportation so she had to take the Lex-Tran Bus to and from the shelter. She was so excited she had gotten a job at Wal-Mart. We had become friends and she couldn’t wait to share the good news. She picked a few more clothes, tooth paste, tooth brush, shampoo, soap, lotion and few other things. I am glad we were able to help her out. She had overheard me talking about my brother who has been in ICU for over 2 months. She asked me his name and said she would be praying daily for him.
A few days later she stopped in to ask about my brother. I said how is the job going? She hung her head and shaking no. It didn’t work out. I said now what are you going to do Ms. Dee? She said I want to go back to NC where my church and friends are. I do not belong here. I am not a person that can live homeless. I will have to stay until I get work to buy a bus ticket. I ask her how much and she had checked on it at the library on line. I said when do you want to go? She said as soon as possible. I called Bob and ask him if Veterans’ Outreach can send her to NC. He agreed and I printed her ticket off to leave the following day. Tears from both of us flowed. Ms. Dee said I can never thank you and Veterans’ Outreach enough. I’ll be praying your brother, you and veterans Outreach. She had a 25-hour bus drive ahead of her.
Monday morning, I received a nice email from a library in NC (she had no phone)
Hello Mrs. Donna,
How are you and your brother doing? I just want to thank you and Veterans’ Outreach again and let you know I made it safely to NC.
Praying,
Ms. Dee

This Case of the Week comes from our Sarasota FL office as written by our Regional Manager, Bob Graham.

The spouse of a veteran we had assisted over a year ago contacted us recently with a Florida Power & Light demand for an overdue $184.47 or shut down.  Her spouse, the veteran is in Tampa General in ICU in a coma after two surgeries  (in addition to 4 more in the last 7 months).   The veterans’ wife is virtually living at the hospital and is not working. Carl is 100% service related disabled. He has not been employable for years.

Bob Julian, Services Director, was visiting the Sarasota office when the need was brought to my attention. He gave approval on the spot to guarantee payment to FPL. The veterans’ wife was really relieved that she had one thing less to worry about and could concentrate on Carl’s recovery.