A New Beginning for Homeless Veterans

Many veterans find themselves without stable housing and other basic needs upon returning home from serving our country. Organizations such as Priority Veteran, a United Way initiative, works to ensure that these heroes can find safe and permanent housing, and teaches them the skills they need to remain financially stable.

One such veteran is Bobby Dawson, a wheelchair-bound Gulf War veteran who weaved in and out of stable housing since his discharge.

Dawson served three years in the Army during the Gulf War. When he returned home, he had no income or safe place to live. He was referred to Priority Veteran by a Veterans Administration social worker while recovering from surgery. His modest trailer was in desperate need of repairs and he had no running water or electricity because he was unable to pay the utility bills.

“With United Way and Priority Veteran, it’s a blessing that there’s somebody out there who really cares for people who can’t do for themselves in their time of need,” Dawson said.

Priority Veteran assisted him with applying for social security benefits, paid his utility bills and arranged for improvements to make his trailer wheelchair-accessible. He also received a gas heater because he had no way to heat his home, as well as a refrigerator to replace the small cooler he had been using to keep his food and medications cold.

“Without this program, I wouldn’t have survived. [Priority Veteran has] helped me to believe in good and hope again by bringing me food when I was hungry, a gas heater when I was cold, help with social security when I had no income and safety by paying my bills.”

Priority Veterans is just one example of how United Way provides services to so many in need.