Veterans experiencing homelessness face a unique set of challenges and opportunities for recovery. In partnership with Carry the Load, Austin Street’s veterans program offers individualized case management to help our nation’s heroes find their way home.
Jeff* was discharged from the Army in 1975, already showing signs of what would much later be diagnosed as schizophrenia. Unable to cope with his mental health difficulties, Jeff spent the next three decades homeless, moving from the streets to shelters to friends’ homes and back again. Each time he was hired for a job, he’d lose it a short while later.
Finally, Jeff made it to Austin Street Center, where he participated in computer literacy classes and took advantage of on-site mental health screening and treatment. After receiving the help he needed, Jeff was able to move into his very first apartment—ever—at age 60. Now he keeps up with treatment for his illness and enjoys the privacy and dignity of living in his very own home.
This past year, Austin Street hosted the first-ever Veteran’s Housing Fair in Dallas in partnership with more than a dozen local agencies. Marcus* had never been to Austin Street before, but he found out about the housing fair and knew he needed to make a change after living on the street. Now, he receives safe shelter and his basic needs, while he and his case manager work on his individual plan to end his homelessness and restore his relationship with his family.
On any given night in Dallas there are more than 300 veterans without a home, representing around 8% of the total homeless population. These men and women made sacrifices to keep us safe, and as a partner with Carry the Load, we are committed to ensuring that they have access to resources and the support they need to end their homelessness—permanently.
To learn more about Carry the Load and the annual Memorial March, visit www.carrytheload.org.
*Names have been changed