My name is Lily*, and I am a mother, a grandmother and a military veteran. By the time I found the Catholic Charities program for women veterans, I was living in my van and had lost hope.
The road that led me to that point in life was long and difficult. I endured a 22-year marriage filled with verbal, emotional and financial abuse. I lived with my mom for many years and helped care for her until family divisions with my sister led me to move out.
I desperately wanted to find a stable place to live so I could spend time with my grandchildren.
Unfortunately, my plans were derailed by unethical landlords, roommates who would not take care of their financial obligations or who were abusive, and my own struggles with suicidal depression stemming from past abuse and my time in the military.
When I was referred to Catholic Charities, I was living in my van part-time to escape an abusive home situation. I was weary, scared and hungry.
I went to the Veterans Administration Hospital when I got sick, and I learned that Catholic Charities has programs designed specifically to help women veterans.
That was so amazing to me! They gave me food and a safe place to live.They encouraged me, listened to me and believed in me.
I believe they saved my life, and I can’t say thank you enough.