I started as the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) case manager on site at TLC in early September 2017. I felt confident that I was made out for the role and would be able to help veterans find permanent housing but had some self-doubt on if I would actually be able to form a connection with the veterans knowing that I am not one myself. Once I had the hands on learning of my new position, my confidence began to build and so did my caseload.
One of the first clients assigned to me was an air force veteran who served for seven years, Keith. He had been living at Veteran’s Victory House (VVH) at TLC, working with the VVH Case Manager and was at the point of looking for permanent housing with assistance from the SSVF program.
He had numerous barriers against him that would hinder him from finding permanent housing but there were two things he had going for him that stood out in my mind: motivation and positivity. He was motivated to find an apartment and did most of the legwork on his own. He always remained positive that he would find housing and despite a series of unfortunate circumstances, he was not going to let that keep him from moving forward with his life.
Within a month of working with him, he and his family were able to get housed. The household income has increased significantly since then and his positivity continues to shine. He is always appreciative of what I have done to help and tells me this often. By him showing appreciation, it continues to build my confidence in this role and as a social worker. He will always be remembered by me as the first veteran I housed and his appreciation has allowed me to gain confidence in my abilities as I navigate through this whole new world of SSVF.