From Homeless to Hopeful After a Year


By J Robinson

I am a 56-year-old homeless, unemployed, female veteran. I served in the United States Army for one year, after which I was honorably discharged. Over the next thirty years, as a single mother, I managed to successfully raise my daughter to adulthood, as well as earned a B.S. and M.Ed. What I was not so successful at was finding and keeping stable, gainful employment. After my daughter graduated from college, my life seemed to be an endless cycle of getting a job, getting a place; losing the job, losing the place.

During this time of financial insecurity, I contacted The Veterans Service Commission to see what assistance they could provide. I was informed that the number of months’ assistance I was eligible for is equal to the number of months I was actively in the military. After several years of unsuccessfully trying to hold my life together, on December 31, 2013 I entered a homeless shelter.

The past year has been long and hard, but very rewarding for me.  Thankful for the services provided at the shelter, which provided me with a very safe and wonderful place to “fall apart”, combined with some of the following services I’ve received from the Veterans Administration, I’ve been able to begin to put the scattered puzzle pieces of my life back together. At the end of 2013 I was homeless. At the end of 2014, I’m full of hope, gratitude and looking forward to moving into my own place in February 2015. 

Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle and NEOCH January 2015