Homeward Bound announces its first move-in of a formerly homeless veteran through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant project. The 2.7 million dollar grant was awarded to Homeward Bound last year as part of a $207 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to end veteran homelessness nation-wide.
On February 6th, Homeward Bound moved its first veteran, Desiree’ Murphy into housing through this program.
Desiree’ Murphy, grew up a military child, joined the Navy as a Medic and then became a Hospital core-man and paramedic. She was part of the Desert Storm team, and returned from the Middle East in 1991, leaving the Navy in 1994. She went on to Campbell University to get a BA in accounting, and then earned an MBA.
After completion of the MBA, Murphy says, “My PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) kicked in and my world exploded after that.” She developed agoraphobia, and spent almost 18 months inside her home in Jacksonville NC, because leaving her house caused her anxiety and panic.
In June of 2014, she came to Asheville to get help at the VA Hospital. She lived in an RV for 8 months, but didn’t have the funds or support to get into a home. She was referred to the Homeward Bound SSVF office, qualified for services, and rapidly began looking at available places with help from her Case Manager. She moved into her home on 2/6/15 with Homeward Bound providing funds for rent, security and utility deposits. Homeward Bound also furnished her home and provided basic household items and will continue to provide rent assistance while she stabilizes at the VA.
Murphy says, “I still have a lot of work to do with my PTSD group – doing lots of counseling and classes to help with my panic. The VA and Homeward Bound are wonderful programs and I’m glad they’re here. They really work together to help you – you just have to start the process because no one else will do it for you. Remember - we fought once before. Fight as hard for yourself as hard as you fought for everyone else.”
Homeward bound’s SSVF office will work to house all homeless veterans by the end of 2015, and to provide the support they need to stabilize over the following 2 years. The Homeward Bound SSVF office is hosting an open house on March 12, 2015 at their offices at 37 Montfort Ave, Suite 202 from 4PM-6PM.
Since 2006, Homeward Bound has housed more than 1,093 people with an 89% housing retention rate. More information about our work is at www.homewardboundwnc.org