Every night, there are veterans in the Louisville area who do not have a place to call home. St. Vincent de Paul Louisville (SVDP) works in partnership with the Veterans Administration to offer transitional housing to such veterans. The veterans who come to SVDP range in age from 30 to 67, and they typically stay in our program for 8 months.
During that time, our case manager, Olivia Raley, helps them navigate the veteran system, which can become overwhelming if you are not familiar with it.
Many of the veterans who stay at Ozanam Inn have underlying issues that make finding housing difficult. Tracy Courtney is one such veteran. Mr. Courtney suffers from a severe mental illness that has made some housing options hard to navigate.
While Mr. Courtney has been at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville, he has developed a very good relationship with his case manager, Olivia, and peer support specialist, Tara. Mr. Courtney was very shy and soft spoken when he first arrived at SVDP in March of 2021; however, with the support of his dedicated case worker, he has now allowed his true personality to shine through. He enjoys going on Kroger shopping trips and attends Pam Scott’s Community Conversations group.
Trust in his case workers and patience with the process have always been challenging for Mr. Courtney, but as Olivia worked through the veterans program with him, Mr. Courtney learned to trust the folks at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville.
Mr. Courtney did not trust former VA representatives, and at first that distrust bled into his relationship with Olivia. However, as he began to feel safer with everyone at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville, he learned of new housing opportunities that could work for him.
Mr. Courtney wanted to stay in the GDP (grant per diem) program because he felt safe and that he was helped in that facility. When his case manager, Olivia, suggested Tranquil apartments, Mr. Courtney was very excited to stay on the SVDP campus. While working with Jessie Arnold and Matt Weaver, Mr. Courtney successfully moved into Tranquil apartments.
Olivia was also able to provide furniture for Mr. Courtney’s apartment with the assistance of the Home Serve Grant, which provides veterans with bedding and a queen bed and mattress set. Thanks to donations for the move out baskets, Mr. Courtney was also able to move in with household items such as cookware, toiletries, and other home goods. Mr. Courtney still comes by to visit Tara and Olivia at Ozanam Inn and is settling in comfortably at Tranquil apartments with Jessie Arnold.