Mission United and the Bob Woodruff Foundation are helping Veterans Impacted by COVID-19
An Air Force veteran and mother, Angel worked at Keiser University as an Admissions Counselor and Testing Director for nine years helping young adults plan their futures.
On February 3rd 2020, the United States declared a public health emergency due to the rapidly spreading Coronavirus. This announcement began a way of business closures, and the country tried to limit exposure and protect its workers.
The university could no longer operate as expected, and they began transitioning to remote work for some of their employees. Unfortunately, Keiser University could not keep all of its staff, and Angel was not one of the employees chosen to work remotely. At first, this was only a minor setback. However, after four months, there was no sign of the pandemic subsiding. Angel was now entering into dire times. Her savings had run out, and the rent was beginning to fall behind. Any money Angel did have left was used to feed herself and her daughter.
June’s rent went unpaid, and soon after, July was behind as well. Angel didn’t know where to turn until a friend recommended she reach out to 211. Heart of Florida United Way’s 211 Information and Referral Crisis Line is a 24/7 helpline for Central Floridians in need. Angel dialed 211 on her cell phone and explained her situation. The Call Specialist learned that she was a veteran connected her to Mission United, a program to help veterans in our community.
“When I first talked to Angel, I immediately knew that we could help her.” Mission United Case Manager Don Pendleton said. “We have a specific grant for veterans whose housing is threatened as a result of COVID_19.”
Don refers to a Bob Woodruff Foundation Grant established at the height of the pandemic to help veterans who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Grants from companies and foundations like Bob Woodruff Foundation allow us to keep veterans in their homes, food on their tables, and assist them with other services like legal aid and employment.” Mission United Director Norris Henderson said. “We are just glad that she reached out to us for help. So many veterans don’t like to ask for help, and we understand that because we are veterans, too. But Mission United is here to help veterans like Angel and her family.”
Helping Angel with her rent was just the stability she needed to get back on track financially until she finally found new employment. Now, Angel and her daughter are rebuilding their lives just like thousands of other Central Floridians who were displaced from work during the pandemic.
“I am just so thankful. I have never needed help or reached out for help before. This was the first time,” said Angel. “You can only imagine the relief I felt when I know there was support out there. My daughter and I are so grateful.”