Be honest with yourself and make no excuses. That’s the motto former Air Force intelligence analyst and former homeless Veteran SRA Davis* lives by every day. She credits her military training for shaping her personal accountability philosophy throughout her life.
As the daughter and granddaughter of Veterans, a military career appealed to her for the opportunity to travel. After training at Shaw Airforce Base, she was station at Molesworth, England and Lakenheath, England. She was deployed in the Iraqi Conflict and Operation Enduring Freedom. She and her husband were enlisted. After 6 years of service, she left the Air Force to start a family.
After leaving the Air Force, her life took a series of wrong turns. Her marriage fell apart. While raising her children she had several jobs including working gin the DEERS office at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA. She stopped working because of mental and physical health issues. Her boyfriend who was her primary care giver became abusive. She began using drugs and continued to spiral to the point of attempting suicide.
Through these difficult days, SRA was haunted by the words of her military mentors including her commander. “I kept thinking, what would they say?” asked SRA. “I didn’t want to embarrass them with my behavior. I needed to take responsibility for my life.” She relied on the will and determination she had when she served in Saudi Arabia to get her through this next chapter of her life.
From Homeless to Hopeful
She stopped using drugs and ended her abusive relationship. She went to the Schuylkill County Women’s Crisis Center. She was homeless. They encouraged her to contact the VA for assistance. She was connected with Supportive Services for Veteran Families program in Schuylkill County. Asking for help wasn’t easy, but SRA knew it was a critical step to reclaiming her life. “When I got help, I felt like a person again. I was respected,” she added.
Schuylkill County SSVF case manager, Victoria Spitler, MSW, provided financial and emotional support to SRA. “Victoria gave me hope to go forward. She gave me relief. She explained everything to me,” noted SRA. Victoria helped SRA find housing and introduced her to different resources to help her continue on a path to long-term stability. She bought a car. She was no longer homeless. Her greatest achievement is having her children back in her life.
Asking for Help When You are Homeless or Facing Eviction
SRA encourages Veterans who are literally homeless or facing eviction to reach out to Supportive Services for Veteran Families. Opportunity House manages the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant for Schuylkill, Berks, and Lancaster Counties. Through this grant, Veterans receive short- and long-term rental assistance, legal assistance, medical referrals and other supportive services.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality