Hawai’i remains one of the most expensive states to live in, and when medical complications put financial hardship on Astrilita and Fermin, the couple were forced out of their home and to the streets. Their housing situation made it impossible for Astrilita to schedule a much needed leg surgery and these challenges were made increasingly difficult as they tried supporting their adult children who were also homeless at the time.
With no where else to turn, the couple entered the U.S.VETS-Wai’anae Civic Center, a shelter that serves nearly 200 men, women and children, both veteran and non-veteran, with supportive services in housing, counseling and workforce development. Working with the on-site case management staff, Astrilita and Fermin received financial assistance, as well as supportive services to learn about how to budget and save income. In addition to receiving support for their physical and mental health, U.S.VETS’ staff advocated on the couple’s behalf for permanent housing.
In September 2020, Astrilita and Fermin transitioned to their own housing and through the skills learned through U.S.VETS, they are now able to maintain their bills, keep medical appointments and save income. Imperative to her physical health, Astrilita is also able to schedule her leg surgery in the near future.
“I was scared of being housed again because we had struggled so much before,” explains Astrilita, “ but I am confident now that we will be able to keep our home from the things we learned here. We are so appreciative of the staff at U.S.VETS for their support and for teaching me not to be afraid.”
U.S.VETS believes that everyone deserves stability and a place to call home. U.S.VETS’ housing programs offer both temporary and permanent solutions to uplift at-risk, low-income, and homeless veterans and families.