Success Story: Tanner C.
Read below for a powerful testimony that reflects how UWS, in coordination with community partners, single-handedly changed a veteran’s future.
Imagine a world in which you lived, comfortably. Imagine it was taken from you, piece by piece, over the course of a year.A little over a year ago, I was working a great job. I was traveling several days a week, making a good living, married and raising three young children. By most accounts, a normal life. I was fortunate to have it.After a year of homelessness, separation with a divorce on its way, unlimited visitation with my kids but nowhere to take them when I had them, a bankruptcy, two job changes, countless rejections for help I desperately needed, I moved into a two bedroom apartment on my own.Life can change at the drop of a hat. I am absolute proof.As a veteran, the military taught me to finish, regroup, and get the job done. No matter what. I tried. I fought hard, but for the better part of the past year, I failed. I was broke and on the verge of being on the street. I could have moved to another state and lived with friends and family, but I chose the struggles to stay here, close to my kids.When I finally understood I could not do it alone, I researched help and came across Upstate Warrior Solution (UWS). They were not able to help with all of my challenges, but I listened and tried to focus on the steps and issues we could work on together. Through their efforts and many follow ups by UWS staff, I was able to change my approach.I focused first on getting my employment situation back to something that was more commensurate with my experience. I secured this in April of 2019. Then, I worked to better my financial position by utilizing two transitional homes for veterans the organization pointed me to. One with the VA and another with another fantastic veteran focused group in Greenville.When I moved into my apartment, there were items I still needed in order for the kids and I to experience some relative normalcy. So, I reached out to UWS. Through his efforts, he got me in contact with Habitat, and they understood my unique challenges as well. They listened to my situation and within twenty four hours provided me with all the items I had mentioned.As a separated father of three, child support is significant. In my case, there is no alimony or other payments. After child support is paid from my check, I am left with a net income of someone making half my gross income. Most troubling is the State of South Carolina offers no relief or consideration for assistance, based on child support, so taking my gross only into consideration, I “made too much” to get critical help I needed in order to get an apartment I could afford. Veterans assistance programs and groups were largely the same. All based off gross income. It was overwhelming, but through patience and never quitting the search, I finally found an apartment that checked the boxes. I made it happen. Had I not listened to UWS, I wouldn’t have been in position to acquire the place I now call home.I NEEDED Upstate Warrior Solution’s help, and through their effort to turn over every rock, follow up on every lead, they helped me get to a place I felt was all but impossible a few short months ago. I’m not “there” yet, but the darker days are over and challenges seem more reasonable and not without patient and reasonable solutions.I thank Upstate Warrior Solution for working with all veterans, and getting information to them to ensure there is always a path forward if you’re willing to take the steps necessary and never quit.Thank you.Sincerely,Tanner C.USAF ‘94-‘98