AmericaServes Testimonial – Dawn’s Story
Dawn and her 15 year old daughter, Janae arrived at the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC)physically and emotionally drained. They had been living in uninhabitable conditions and despite her tenant rights, Dawn’s landlord had still made threats to evict her and change the locks. Dawn feared without proper housing, she would lose custody of her daughter. She needed help, fast.
Dawn came to the Veterans Outreach Centerfor assistance after serving eight years in the Navy as a cryptologic technician in Italy, Germany and the Persian Gulf. Dawn was connected to Marianne Sernoffsky, Female Veterans and Families Program Manager/Case Manager at VOC who was able to provide legal and housing services that same day. Marianne helped Dawn with all necessary applications and paperwork and guided her through every step of the process. Within three weeks Dawn was in a new, stable housing arrangement. Through AmericaServes’ and the collaboration of VOC Dawn was able to get her life back on track and successfully stabilized.
“Every application I needed, Marianne helped fill out. She stuck with me to the end. I had been lost in my life and I needed someone who was going to push me and be there to help me not give up. Each problem I faced, Marianne and AmericaServes had everybody put their heads together and connected me with where I needed to go.”
In addition to housing, Dawn was able to receive legal and financial help. AmericaServes provided access to groceries, home goods and a car so that she could get to and from her medical appointments. Word of Dawn’s story got out and fellow veterans were so moved that the local Veteran of Foreign Wars group (VFW) purchased and delivered appliances to Dawn’s new home. When asked what advice she would give to other veterans or military affiliated family members, Dawn responded:
“I was homeless, mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. AmericaServes pulled together to connect me with providers who treated me with respect and treated me as a person. There is hope for everyone out there. Don’t give up”
With the fear of losing her housing behind her, Dawn is enjoying her new life. Dawn and Marianne still maintain a close relationship and an open-door policy where Dawn can receive help and assistance for any future problems.
Through AmericaServes’ and Veterans Outreach Center’s coordinated care approach, Dawn received help from five separate service providers and had access to over eight hundred service providers across its sixteen networks. Dawn is just one of AmericaServes’ nearly thirty five thousand completed service requests.
The outcome of Dawn’s story reminds us that behind all of the numbers and facts associated with AmericaServes and its affiliates are real individuals with very real struggles.