You gave Kyle shelter during a global pandemic
This pandemic has hit harder for those that were already struggling. United States Army veteran, Kyle wants to share his story with you. He shares a look into his life and his struggles during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
“When I entered the United States Military in 2009, I never thought that I would ever need or require the services of Volunteers of America Michigan (VOA). In fact, I never knew that I was even entitled to the services and benefits when I entered the Army, all those years ago.
But skip ahead 11 years later, in 2020, during the height of a global pandemic known as COVID-19, I found myself, a veteran of the Army, requesting and needing the services.
Of all the organizations that I thought could help a veteran, I never would have thought that VOA would be the group that would save me from being destitute on the streets with nowhere to go.
Due to several residents in my apartment building being stricken with COVID-19, I was advised by my leasing agent and others not to return to the residence, to limit my exposure because it would be a health risk.
‘At that moment, I became a man without shelter. A man without residence, and a man without hope.’
But hope came in the form of an agency that had been around since 1896, founded by two socialites in New York City who wanted to create a civic organization that would truly serve others and help those in need.
I never would’ve thought that I would become one of the many millions of individuals who would credit their salvation to Volunteers of America.
In late March 2020 when I was put in touch with VOA, I was assigned a caseworker to assist me in finding a new place to live and whatever shelter or resources I might need.
I was greatly surprised when whatever I let my worker know what I needed, VOA provided it. Aided by caseworkers, they assisted me with many provisions including temporary shelter in a hotel during the extreme height of the pandemic. Both assisted me in receiving free meals, and whatever supplies and accessories that were essential to my survival and staying healthy and safe during the dangerous time.
But most of all, the staff - and VOA- as a whole, kept their word. They helped me find permanent housing again, something I had been lacking due to the health risks at my previous apartment.
Within months, my staff and VOA had me fully housed in a new apartment and assisted me with whatever I needed without hesitation.
‘As a veteran of the United States Army, it can easily be said that sometimes we are a forgotten class and group of American life.’
We’re often and easily disregarded, discarded, and most times, taken advantage of. But with VOA, I was made to feel as I mattered. As if my service was worth something. That feeling is one that will never leave me.
To know that my service to my country was repaid with the kindness of those in a different organization showed me truly the love and humanity that exists between all men - and women. Between all people, regardless of race, sex and creed.
I’m quite sure that VOA has helped many during this pandemic - and those individuals should know they are truly blessed to have been assisted.
But I, only just one man, know and understand that in a world where hope and faith can be hard to find sometimes, that Volunteers of America Michigan and their staff showed me that hope in your fellow man and faith in promises can truly be worth more than just what you hear on the television and radio.”
We thank Kyle for not only courageously serving our country, but also for his openness in sharing his story with you today.
Unfortunately, this just one story. There are still veterans out there facing this pandemic alone and having one of the hardest times of their life. Men and women will be sleeping in their cars tonight because they have no place else to go, and they need your help.