Kay Waldrop had finally hit underside. She was drinking heavily. Using drugs. Getting into vex with the law.
Waldrop had spent 13 years in uniform — six with the Army and seven with the Oregon Inhabitant Guard. But with she left military service, her go started to unravel.
“I kept getting myself into terrible relationships,” she said. “It’s a sequence. It’s just like you’re on a hamster wheel, and you can’t get off. When you don’t feel excellent about yourself, you can get to a point where you want to give up.”
At that time one daylight she chose that giving up was not an option.
“I just got sick of living like I was living,” the 53-year-ancient clarified. “I couldn’t go on like I was. So I took a 100-mile bus ride to the VA in Roseburg (Oregon).”
“Having a home is so vital to me. It’s a place where you can be safe, and heal.”
— Kay Waldrop, Veteran
Taher Kashuba, a case manager at the VA Roseburg Health Care System, distinctly remembers her first encounter with Waldrop.
“I was the first person Kay saw that daylight when she arrived at this time at the VA,” she said. “I got off the elevator, and here she was, with just her backpack.”
“I really dumped on her,” Waldrop said, laughing. “I poured my heart out to her. And she listened.”
The Army Veteran was desperate to rebuild her go. But she soon came to realize it wasn’t going to happen overnight.
“You have to show that you’re willing to do the work,” Waldrop experimental. “It’s like a ladder. You can’t go up the rungs until you do the work at the underside.”
“First we got Kay into a nearby shelter for battered persons, where she could feel safe,” Kashuba clarified. “Next, we got her into our outpatient substance abuse counseling group with other Veterans.
“The group setting is vital,” Kashuba frenziedly, “because a lot of our Veteran outpatients are to some extent isolated, socially. They don’t have a social support system, or too greatly contact with their families. Frankly, a lot of them have burned their bridges, so to speak. So we try to provide that support at this time at VA.”
“I’m by myself now,” Waldrop said, “so I need to do healthy things, with healthy people. I need to learn how to socialize.”
These living, Kay’s social calendar is getting pretty full.
“I go to a PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) self esteem support group at Roseburg,” she said. “The group is all women. I also go to a women’s AA (Alcoholics Indistinctive) group some time ago a week. I have the support of a lot of women at this time at Roseburg. I didn’t realize how vital it was to have the support of women.”
With her support system in place, Kay Waldrop’s next mission — her next rung on the ladder — was finding a place to call home. It wasn’t simple.
“Because of my drug history, and my criminal history, we had a tough time trying to find a place for me,” Waldrop said. “But Taher by no means gave up. She stuck with me.”
“Kay and I went nearly to a lot of places collectively, huge out applications,” said Kashuba.
Eventually, Waldrop finally found a home thanks to a landlord who understands the quandary of down-and-out Veterans.
“He’s really a chaplain for the Vietnam Veterans of America,” Kashuba clarified. “He wants to help Vets. He said he had a nice household he would rent to Kay. And it was in the historic constituency, no less!”
“It has hardwood floors!” Waldrop pointed out. “And a porch. And a garden out in trade!”
Waldrop’s part-time job as a supply stocker at the Roseburg VA helps pay for her impart of the rent. She’s responsible for 30 percent of it. The Sphere of Housing and Urban Development picks up the rest, thanks to a federal partnership called the HUD-VA Supportive Housing Curriculum.
Lon Laughlin, a social work executive at Roseburg, said HUD and VA get on to a excellent band.
“Ending homelessness is more than placing a roof over someone’s have control over,” he clarified. “HUD provides rent subsidies, while VA provides case management. That kind of partnership significantly increases the likelihood that the front entrance of a home won’t be a revolving one.”
“When she went in, Kay didn’t have anything,” Kashuba said. “She had a backpack, and an air mattress. Kay and I went right through the community to try and find furniture for her home. One of the community furniture places donated a mattress.”
Kashuba said many of the other household items that now populate Waldrop’s new home are donations from private citizens. “We were given chairs, lamps, a TV, kitchenware, curtains, and other household items,” she said. “The people in this community are very generous.”
As excellent luck would have it, Waldrop went into her new digs just living previous to her youngest son, Wayne, deployed to Afghanistan. Nineteen-year-ancient Wayne was able to visit his mom, in her own place, before long previous to he shipped out. His older brother Simon accompanied him on the visit.
“It was reassuring to them to see that their mother was safe,” Kashuba said.
“They’re really excellent boys,” Waldrop said. “Things are splendid between us now, but they didn’t use to be. We had a entrust issue here for a while, when I was using.”
“I’ve missed them,” she extra. “It’s nice to have them in trade in my go. And now I have a place where they can occur and be with me whenever they want.”
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