Phoelix and Victoria recently moved into their “roomy two bedrooms, one bath” apartment. Phoelix had been experiencing homelessness for the past five years in Vermont and met Victoria this last year while she was also living in and out of shelters. Their struggle to find housing was exacerbated with the onset of the COVID pandemic last year which caused them to lose hope of gaining and keeping employment.
About experiencing chronic homelessness Phoelix recalled, “When you’re homeless you have no foundation to stand up on. One of the biggest barriers was just finding affordable housing. It all felt impossible.”
Phoelix is a Veteran of the Army who saw the end of the Cold War and the start of Desert Storm. While staying in a hotel during COVID, Phoelix was introduced to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program of Pathways Vermont. SSVF provides short-term, supportive services to participants to help them obtain and/or retain stable housing. The program uses a Rapid Rehousing approach, meaning the program’s priority is to support Veterans and their families in developing a permanent housing option.
The couple worked with Pathways team member Stacia to secure permanent housing and move out of their hotel room. “Stacia really helped get all of our paperwork in order and helped us maintain our stay at the hotel. It’s so hard to keep everything straight when you’re not living in a permanent home. Stacia has been great.”
Stacia is elated that they found the couple a lovely home and is excited for their future saying, “They’ve done an amazing job. I am really proud of them!”
After moving into their new home, Phoelix and Victoria are now looking forward to securing employment and settling into their apartment. They both shared, “It’s just so nice to have our own place. We actually have privacy. We are excited to get furniture, curtains, and decorations!”