George during military service.

This Veteran Family is Armed with Savings, Budget Savvy, and a Great Rental History.

To fully appreciate the difference St. Vincent de Paul’s veteran programs can make, you just have to live for a few months in a tent in somebody’s driveway, the comforts of home within spitting distance yet far away. Compare that to being housed, having savings, and looking with confidence toward finding a new place.

As clients of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, George and Donna spent eight months on that hard driveway, in survival mode. When a home in the Veterans Housing Project (VHP) portfolio came available, all indicators pointed to them.

George and Donna moved into the house and delved into all that VHP has to offer — most importantly the education and hard work necessary to avoid a return to any place resembling a driveway.


George and Donna on the porch of their VHP house.

“We have focused on improving our credit history,” said George. “We learned to live off a budget.”

“We got back on our feet,” Donna added proudly. “I worked to establish and repair my credit.”

Credit standing and income greatly affect a person’s ability to qualify for and maintain housing so it’s a big part of the VHP case manager’s work. She refers them to SVdP’s own in house – and a St. Vincent de Paul financial counselor helps to open savings accounts and completes monthly budgets.

“We’ve been able to save nearly $2,000 by watching what we spend and reducing our monthly expenses,” Donna said.  In addition, VHP gives participants the opportunity to improve their rental history, a barrier many of the clients face.

“Now that we’re moving, we’re seeing how important it is to have the positive rental history we earned while in VHP,” said George. Because of the time, effort, and hard work that George and Donna put into their case management, they feel confident about using the skills they’ve acquired and look forward to moving into a rental of their own.