Meet William: a U.S. Veteran finds housing stabilityPosted on February 18th, 2020
Fifty-eight-year-old William is a United States veteran. He served in the Navy from 1982 to 1986, stationed in California and Virginia and aboard an aircraft carrier on which he completed an around-the-world tour.
Humble and hard-working, this Minnesota native has also experienced homelessness. William’s hardship began six years ago. Living out-of-state, he lost his steady employment as a freon reclaimer at a family-owned company due to the recession and lay-offs.
“I lost my job, and I lost my housing. I was staying in shelters and sleeping outside.” he says.
William experienced homelessness for four years, and the situation became increasingly difficult for him: “I had a lot of depression,” says William.
In need of housing and a support system, William moved back to the Twin Cities, staying with two of his brothers during the next year. William stayed at a Twin Cities shelter for two months before getting connected to Simpson’s Single Adult Housing Program.
With the assistance of Simpson Senior Advocate Robyn, William moved quickly toward housing stability. “We completed a housing application, went to Bridging to get furniture, and went to the County. I was qualified for housing. I had been homeless for a long time. I had no criminal record,” he says.
William has been stably housed in his new apartment for two months. His apartment is bright, tidy, and comfortably furnished. Most importantly, William feels settled and well: “It’s good. I am not as depressed and down as a I used to be. I’m active. I do a lot of walking. I’m going to bring my bike here. The biking trails are nearby. That’s the plan for spring.”
Robyn is happy for William and proud of his progress. Having already applied for Supplemental Security Income, they are working together to get him connected to Section 8 for older adults, energy assistance, and cell phone support. William has accessed local food pantries and receives food stamps. “William is very motivated to get up and do what he needs to do. He’s very reliable,” she says.
William is appreciative of Simpson’s help and resources, and he enjoys working alongside Robyn and other Simpson staff: “You have to be motivated and stay positive. You have to ask for help. Simpson is really willing to help me out with housing or whatever I need. … I’m really grateful for everyone’s help.”
Photo credit: L. Beeke, Art 4 Shelter artist