Meet the Faces of VOA Illinois: Dan

Dan came to VOA Illinois earlier this year when he was connected to our SPACES team (Suicide Prevention & Community Education Services). Dan was connected to a peer support specialist because he was experiencing depression and anxiety and was at risk of suicide. Our SPACES team found out Dan’s depression and anxiety were being exacerbated by his housing. Dan was going through many trials with his landlord. Dan reported his landlord was behaving in a hostile manner; both in words and demeanor, and his landlord was failing to keep his home safe and sanitary. Dan tried to connect with local government and the local police station, but nothing was being done. Dan didn’t know what to do anymore.

Because of Dan’s mental health struggles and the conflict with his landlord, the SPACES team supported him several times in de-escalating and returning to a state of balance and emotional well-being. On some of these occasions, the SPACES team helped temporarily relocate Dan to a nearby hotel to further de-escalate and ensure his safety. The SPACES team collaborated with another organization, Veteran New Beginnings, to help Dan obtain a voucher for subsidized housing, and helped him move into safe, secure, and Veteran-friendly housing.

Dan also participated in our Holiday Wishes program, and was able to give Christmas gifts to his grandchildren this year. Dan thanked his SPACES peer support specialist with the following message “Thank you so much for the kind gifts l really appreciate all of your support and help. You have been a blessing in my life

Dan also resonates with the following quote “The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”

*Name changed for anonymity

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