Success Story: Keri-Anne
Keri-Anne served in the U.S. Army from 2006-2008. After finding out late into her first year of service that her father had been diagnosed with cancer and would not make it through the next year, she decided to leave the service early to care for him. This was a hard decision for Keri-Anne, as she had hoped to make a career out of the military.
After her father passed away, Keri-Anne had nowhere to go and no one to turn too; she felt helpless. But once she found Veterans Inc., things started to turn around.
Now 24 years old, Keri-Anne and her 18-month-old son came to our program in early September 2011 after poor family relations and lack of child care left Keri-Anne homeless. She also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had a service-connected physical disability for which she was receiving no assistance.
As soon as Keri-Anne entered the program, she immediately met with case management to address her goals. As a single mom, her concerns were mainly focused on her son, including enrolling him in daycare, as well as obtaining training so she would become more marketable in the workforce.
Keri-Anne’s case manager worked with her to develop a plan of action, assisted her with VA and other benefits applications, and referred her to several ancillary service provider partners. Action was taken immediately to assist her in obtaining income (temporary assistance through the local Veteran Service Officer for State Chapter 115 benefits), obtaining her son’s birth certificate and her ID and social security card, all of which would assist her in getting her son enrolled in daycare and with her finding employment.
Her son was immediately enrolled in Veterans Inc.’s Little Patriots Early Learning Center, providing her with childcare and parenting support. Prior to his enrollment in Little Patriots, Keri-Anne says that her son wasn’t very verbal or social, but once he enrolled in Little Patriots, his motor and verbal skills increased tremendously. He’s so curious about everything around him and has a pretty good vocabulary for a two year old.
Keri-Anne is now actively engaged in mental health counseling and is receiving benefits from the VA for her service-connected physical disability. She has moved into her own apartment and taken some classes through Veterans Inc.’s employment and training department with the hopes of going back to school in the fall to finish her degree.
For the first time in a long time, she is hopeful about her and her son’s future.