Marc Price (pictured above), Pathways Vermont’s Rapid Rehousing and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Team Lead, is incredibly proud of the hard work and determination his team has shown over the past six months to meet the needs of veteran families and individuals in the face of this multifaceted crisis.
Access to a private and safe home directly impacts all of our abilities to keep everyone in the community healthy right now. Therefore, Marc’s team’s work has taken on an even greater importance. Since March, our Rapid Rehousing and SSVF teams have housed and served over 25 Vermonters! Below, Marc details his team’s dedication, the challenges the folks they serve are facing, and the inherent essentialness of the work.
“This truly has been the best job I have ever had. I love the work that we do and I find it so amazing the level of expertise and commitment to the work everyone at Pathways Vermont has. I am a Veteran myself so I know how needed our service is in the community. It’s incredible to know I am helping my fellow Veterans. So many Veterans are struggling with PTSD and substance abuse and to know that we are going to have a direct impact on their lives is so meaningful. A lot of the clients we are working with are staying in pop-up tent shelters and substance abuse issues have been exacerbated due to the stress of COVID-19.
Our caseloads have really increased but everyone is handling it the best they can. I have had to take on a whole caseload while still managing both teams in order to not overwhelm the staff. We are still getting individuals housed, we are just having to adapt to different ways of doing it. Landlords are sending us videos of their units or allowing us in with all the windows open. We are doing inspections virtually. We are all adapting.
A lot of our folks have lost their ability to lead sustainable lives right now because they have lost their employment due to COVID. We are trying to be creative and meet people outside and go on walks, like on Church Street. But we still have to practice social distancing and wear PPE. With folks living in tents or in motels, it is very difficult.
I really appreciate how hands-on my team is, we work primarily to secure housing but we are also focusing on any barriers our clients have in all aspects in their lives like transportation, delivering food, appointments. That’s why I love Pathways Vermont. There is such a hands-on component to our services. Housing is important but the hard work doesn’t stop after individuals are housed.
Everyone we have worked with has just been so appreciative of the assistance. I receive emails after we have housed someone saying, “No one has helped me as much as you have. Thank you for all that you have done.” That moment makes the stress of the work right now so worth it. It keeps us going. It is such a needed program and I am so happy that Pathways Vermont allows me to do this work every day.”