We have been homeless since Friday and had to go to the next county up from where we lived just to get help. My husband is a Disabled Veteran and, after making many phone calls to try and keep us in our county and to keep from losing my job, there was just no hope for us. However, this new county had much more to offer us.
I had a job set up before we even got here! It’s only housekeeping, but it helps. I do worry about leaving my husband alone because of his seizures and brain injury. His doctors have urged me not to leave him alone in case he falls and hurts himself with a seizure, but I really don’t have a choice but to go. I am our only hope right now to bring money in and get us on our feet. I tried working from home so I could be with him, but the loud party neighbors upstairs cost me that job. I am still very upset about it, but there’s nothing I can do except brush it off and move on.
We sat down with the Veteran’s Service Officer in this county today and this woman was amazing! With one phone call to the VA benefits department, she got his Pension fixed. The VA is going to expedite his non service connected Pension and let us know something by mail ASAP. She said, once she tells them her clients are homeless, they usually have their pension in about 3 days. Our last officer never even lifted the phone to speak to anyone for us like this woman did. She said the only way my husband would be denied is if they think he can work. I don’t see how when they recognized he has a disability when denying him the service connected pension last month. They agreed he has a brain injury, seizures, bipolar 1, PTSD, memory problems, and more. They can read his VA health records and verify he sees 11 doctors and therapists. If he could get his pension, we could get his back pay from January and get a place to live. I could stay with my husband at home as well until he is stable enough to be left alone OR I can find another job I can do out of the home again.
We have to set up a PO box for mail ASAP so we don’t miss the decision from the VA Benefits office. Our service officer told us that the USPS gives homeless free general mailboxes and, if it is NOT free, our case worker can possibly pay for it. We will do this first thing in the morning.
We then went to the local VA clinic in town and started the process of getting all my husband’s medical care transferred to this county. We are just waiting on a phone call to get everything finalized. He needs to get his care started back up ASAP.
We are going to be working with an organization that can help us with housing and furniture. Since I have a job and/or my husband will have a pension, they will help with deposits and a month or two of rent as well as furniture. They also help with transportation so my husband can get to his appointments when I have to work.
My husband got his window fixed that shattered Friday night. That cost us $47 to get done from a junk yard pull. The cost cut into our food money, but it needed to be fixed before it rained all in the truck or someone tried to get into it.
We have a week paid for this hotel thanks to a veteran’s organization. This gives me time to find us a place to live, work with our case worker more, and have a few days of work under my belt without having to sleep in a truck with no way to go to the bathroom or shower. Mother nature hit me this week, that would have been no fun in a truck for sure. Sorry to be rude, but that’s life right there for a woman, folks.
I am working with my husband’s veteran’s court as well to get everything transferred here. His Probation Officer is setting up a court date for next month so we can get his court stuff transferred here. She knows none of this is our fault and knows how hard I tried to get us on our feet in that county. We are getting more done in this county than we ever did there. I will have to go to court with my husband and beg they let us go. If not, we will for sure be in a truck and I will lose yet another job.
Backstory: My husband started Keppra for seizures in June 2016 that caused him to have anger issues and anxiety as a side effect. It also put him in a manic phase. We begged the VA clinic in Daytona Beach to help him for months and got no help. It took my husband having a fit of rage, pushing me into a glass coffee table, and being arrested to get them to take him seriously. After three months of begging the VA doctor for help, it took his arrest to get her to finally say, “what do you want me to do about it?” and we had to go to a patient advocate to get the help he needed since she refused to do anything. I wrote the Judge an 8 page letter explaining his brain injury and the side effects of his medication that caused the issue, but he still got a year probation, 20 anger management classes, metal health counseling, 57 hours of community service, and $200 fine. All of which I will have to pay and get him to on top of work and other VA appointments. All this now needs to be transferred to this county ASAP.
I am also going to be taking care of me for once. I found out I can get free women’s health at the health department which includes a PAP and mammogram. I am way overdue for these tests for sure. I’ll arrange that tomorrow as well. I am also going to ask them about free counseling and support groups for myself. After all I have been through the last few years, I am in desperate need of some one-on-one counseling. I spend all day every day supporting my husband and need a little support myself. Sometimes, I feel life revolves around him and I am forgotten about. I am just the veteran’s wife who only matters when it comes to being a secretary or working to sustain us. It feels very lonely for sure.
With all this going on, we are making sure we have time for some fun. We have little to no money, but there a plenty of free or very cheap things to do in town. We have planned evening and weekend walks on the beach, the nature trails, and the ghost hot spots in the down town area. We also will be checking the local community calendar for free things as well. This town is the oldest town in America and full of fun history. Me being the history lover I am, I think I found a little piece of heaven. I will have plenty to do after work and the pressure of life for months and years to come. In fact, my next blog post will be full of this towns ghostly history we learned about last night on a ghostly tour around the old town.