Stories of Success: Melvin’s Story

Melvin is a thirty-nine year old veteran, and father to an adorable four year old son. His family was displaced in October, after the mother suffered a mental health breakdown rendering both father and child homeless. Good Samaritan Haven worked with multiple community partners to get Melvin and his son rapidly rehoused and reunified. Melvin moved into an apartment at Downstreet Housing and Community Development just before Christmas, with the help of the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. VASH combines rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Melvin, a thirty-nine year old veteran, is pictured here at his new apartment at Downstreet Housing and Community Development.

I think a really important part of what we do here at Good Samaritan Haven is, we look at the whole person- all of their needs in the beginning, because we cannot successfully find housing until those barriers are met. - Kym Rowell, Case Coordinator Good Samaritan Haven

Melvin reached out to Veterans Inc. and began working with Denise Goodwin, a case manager there, who then referred the man with the Good Samaritan Haven’s homeless shelter and housing program. At that time, referrals to several other service providers were made to provide wrap-around services. Downstreet Housing and Community Development, the Department of Children and Families, Easter Seals, Veterans Inc. and Good Samaritan Haven all formed a team around this family to support both reunification of father and son as well as a stable housing placement.

This story is a success not only because this family worked hard, but also the collaboration between so many service agencies / providers was present.

Kym Rowell, Case Coordinator at Good Samaritan Haven explains: “This story is a wonderful example of how much we can accomplish if we (as a community, within our designated agency) work collaboratively to help those on our caseloads not only find sustainable and stable housing but also work on other serious areas of need / barriers each individual / family may have. I think a really important part of what we do here at Good Samaritan Haven is, we look at the whole person- all of their needs in the beginning, because we cannot successfully find housing until those barriers are met. Sometimes those barriers may be: substance abuse or mental health, in which case we make appropriate referrals, and sometimes the barrier may be employment, in which case we begin job searching as well as employment training.”