Thomas Ptacek, a formerly homeless veteran and Preble Street Veterans Housing Services Peer Outreach Coordinator, opened up Monday’s Maine Homeless Veterans Action Committee (HVAC) annual update with reflections from his personal experience:
“The way that I survived was to completely disconnect and shut down. When I got out of the shelter and into my apartment, it was hard for me to think that I was deserving. The fear of becoming homeless again is something to this day I’m afraid could happen again — I never thought it could happen in the first place. When someone has been homeless for a long time, their housing may not necessarily be real to them right away.”
Preble Street is a member of HVAC, an alliance existing to ensure veteran homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring. The goal of HVAC is to create a system in which a veteran experiencing homelessness will be connected to housing within 90 days of being identified.
While there is still work to be done, much progress has been made in ending veteran homelessness in Maine. Last year, 201 veterans experiencing homelessness were permanently housed. This is up from 192 in 2017.
Veteran Homelessness is a SOLVABLE problem, one that we can solve together.
For more information: https://www.preblestreet.org/what-we-do/housing-services/veterans-housing-services/