D.C. Housing Authority Helps Vets Find Homes
Elton Hayes | 11/7/2012, 7:05 p.m.
But like the more than 800,000 homeless veterans across America, Thomas' life changed after being diagnosed with a mental illness. He lost his job and eventually, his home, in 2008.
"I lived with family for a while and with friends," said Thomas, who spent most of his military service in Germany. "But they're only going to help you but so much when you don't have an income. When all of those resources ran out, that's when I really became homeless."
Thomas bounced between friends' couches, his vehicle and District homeless shelters for three years while attempting to find a job. The dismal economic climate only made his search more difficult.
"I cannot remember a time that I didn't work up until the time that I became disabled," he said. "And that's when times became hard ...When I was going through it, I still didn't consider myself disabled and I still wanted to work, but the doctors wouldn't let me return."
Help for Thomas came after he contacted DCHA-VASH. He was accepted into the program in October 2010, and now has a home of his own.
"It was immediate," said Thomas, who lives in Southeast. "They gave me a call, gave me the paperwork and it was about a 10-day turnaround and I was in my own place. It was really great. I thought that it would take longer," he said with a smile.
For more information about DCHA-VASH, call: (202) 636-7660