Story originally published by Harbor Homes
Susan is a veteran and a mother of three. One of her children suffers with a serious health condition that requires constant, expensive care. After Susan’s employer closed its regional office she lost her job of many years and with it, her health benefits.
She was unable to secure another job despite her persistent efforts. Susan battled mental health issues including depression and debilitating anxiety from military sexual trauma. Her household and medical bills became overwhelming. Reenlisting was not an option. She lost her home, forcing her, her children and the family dog to seek shelter in her car. Susan spiraled further into hopelessness.
A friend recommended she call Harbor Homes where she was warmly welcomed and given immediate assistance. Her case manager helped her find a full time job plus a second part time job. She has successfully maintained her housing, provides a safe roof overhead for her children and is receiving mental health treatment. Susan has since enrolled in college and empowered with more self confidence as she continues to build stronger relationships with family and others in her life.
Susan found hope again.
Diego’s and Bethany
Diego, 26, is an Air Force veteran who served in Colombia from 2005-2009. He received the AF Outstanding Unit Award with 2 oak leaf clusters, AF Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal, Global War on Terrorism Service medal, AF Longevity Service, and AF Training Ribbon. His wife, Bethany, also an Air Force veteran, served in the Air Force Air Crew Life Support from 2005 to 2007. She received the Air Force Training Ribbon, National Defense Serve medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service medal. They are both Honorably Discharged veterans.
While in the service, Diego worked in Information Technology and also was an English teacher assisting students in developing English as a second language. Bethany states she wants to go back to school to be a paralegal.
After leaving the Air Force, they lived in Florida. Unfortunately, Diego lost his job and Bethany was pregnant at the time. They were able to stay with Bethany’s grandmother for one year but had to leave when her home became uninhabitable and was demolished. They then moved in with Bethany’s paternal aunt and stayed with her for a few weeks. It was necessary for all of them to stay together in one room. They then gathered as many resources as they could, moved into a hotel and stayed there for one month.
Families First referred them to the Veterans Administration, which in turn referred them to Harbor Homes, Nashua, NH’s non-profit organization dedicated to helping the homeless.
They came to Nashua, homeless, with two small children, Mime 3 and Little Diego 5. Diego Senior now attends school during the day studying accounting and works a night job, 11 pm to 7 am, as a security guard for a local hospital. Bethany works 4 pm to 10 pm at Walgreen’s where she is well-liked and respected by coworkers and supervisors. She hopes to go back to school. They are both dedicated parents striving to provide for their small family through hard work and perseverance. They are attempting to model for their children what a strong work ethic can accomplish.