Ray is an ambitious, personable, and humorous 72-year-old Veteran working with Pathways Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF). Ray was living in Winooski when he lost his housing in the fall of 2021. He slept in his car for three to four months before he ended up at the T-Bird Motel. “Seeing the front seat of my car as my bed was a hard adjustment after I had worked all my life.”
Being at the T-Bird was very lonely; Ray couldn’t have visitors and only had access to a microwave for cooking for the year that he spent living there. “When I initially got to the motel, I was content at first just having a roof over my head and being warm; it felt like a step forward.” Ray spent his days driving around looking for apartments to rent, with no luck. Finally, the Veterans Affairs and SSVF stepped in.
“When they came in, I was elated. I had an organization that when they said they would get things done, they would.” Ray began working with Pathways in May 2022 and moved into his Pathways apartment in November of 2022. Sean (SSVF Senior Service Coordinator) and Ray formed a great connection and continued their relationship once Ray graduated from the program. “Sean has been great to me. He went out of his way to make sure that everything was taken care of. Even when he wasn’t my worker, I could call him. He has always, always been there. If Pathways has ten more people like him, they have a great organization.”
Now that he is in his apartment, Ray can look forward to his future. His apartment feels spacious, and having multiple rooms is a great feeling, especially after living in a one-room motel for a year. “Being able to go from one room to another is a great thing; I don’t go stand in the hallway often but, it is nice to have the room,” he joked. Ray especially enjoys being able to cook meals again. “If I never see another hot pocket, I will be happy.” Ray looks forward to traveling around Vermont and finally feeling settled and safe where he lives.