In 1985, right after high school graduation, Pamela Coleman decided to enlist in the U.S. Army.
She wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and be able to grow as a person. Pamela served for six years as a military police officer. She said her time in the military helped her to know how to be independent and dependent: independent as she learned to do things on her own, but also learned it was important to be dependent on others at times.
In January of 2018, Pamela came to HVAF of Indiana, the largest non-profit provider to veterans in Indiana, for help after being laid off from her job and losing her home.
Pamela quickly moved into one of HVAF’s 120 transitional housing units and worked one-on-one with case managers to establish a path to self-sufficiency.
Her path included addressing social and emotional issues and challenges, establishing and meeting goals, preparing for employment, securing VA disability benefits, and applying for social security benefits.
“When I started here, I didn’t have too many goals or know where I was supposed to go,” Pamela said. “HVAF has really helped me to accomplish my goals.”
“Sometimes it’s overwhelming, and when you know that you have a place where you don’t have to worry about being kicked out, and you have a food pantry, clothing pantry, anything you need… HVAF has really given us the opportunity to be a person, as well as a vet.”
She said the case managers at HVAF took great care of her. “They do anything they can to help us feel better about ourselves with the situations that are going on with us.”
She also said she loved being at HVAF because of the special perks: free haircuts, spa days, a hospitality room where she can watch movies with other veterans, a computer lab where she can work on her resume, and the yummy cookouts.
After nine months at HVAF, Pamela moved into her own home!
“This is a day I will never forget,” Pamela said, as she opened the door into her new apartment “I want to thank everyone for helping me get to this place. The opportunities that they have given me makes me feel better: as a woman, a veteran, a mother, a sister, a daughter,” Pamela said.
Pamela highly recommends HVAF to any veteran: whether they are homeless, about to lose their home, or just need someone to talk to.
Until COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, Pamela started giving back to other veterans in need by regularly volunteering in HVAF’s community center which offers a food and hygiene pantry, clothing pantry, hospitality room, and computer lab for all veterans in need of support.
Although HVAF’s Community Center is closed to visitors, pre-packaged food and hygiene items are still being distributed and clothing requests are being fulfilled as needed.