Warrior Success Story: Chris W.
When COVID-19 hit in early March, the timing could not have been worse for Marine veteran Chris W. The winter had been a financially difficult time: an unexpected move to a new living situation had wiped out his savings and increased his expenses.
The health crisis made his financial situation even more strained. “Due to my medical conditions, my need and concern for transportation increased due to COVID-19 social distancing recommendations,” Chris says. Because he could no longer take public transportation or have people drive him without risking his health, Chris bought a car to be able to buy groceries and go to the Asheville VA for medical appointments. The added expense of buying a vehicle led Chris to fall behind on rent and utility payments. “I’m living two paychecks behind right now,” Chris says, describing the financial impact of the virus.
The VA referred Chris to Upstate Warrior Solution (UWS) in April. The UWS team walked him through the application process for the COVID-19 Emergency Resource Fund provided through Premier Foundation. Shortly after he sent in his application, Chris was approved for rent and utility assistance so he could catch up on his bills. “I’m grateful,” Chris wrote to Upstate Warrior Solution. “The help I received fixed two main issues. Since resources are in short supply the timing was perfect. Thank you to all concerned.”
To date, UWS has awarded a total of $6,235* from the emergency fund to eight* local veterans. These funds have provided direct payment of mortgages, utilities, and car repairs for veterans who have been furloughed or are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. UWS is currently reviewing an additional eight applications. 100% of warriors who have applied for the relief fund have received assistance.
*Update: As of June 3, we approved $17,688 to be distributed to 22 veterans.