Heart and Soul: Non-Profit Helps Local Woman Get Out of the Cold
Veronica Millbourne (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md. - Many families are just one paycheck away from being homeless. One local agency pledges to work with those families. One local woman said she was able to stand on her own with the group's help.
For Veronica Millbourne, washing dishes in her own home is a blessing.
"It feels good to come home and just relax and not worry about where I'm going to be at next," Millbourne said.
That's because just weeks ago, this Eastern Shore native was homeless.
"It was more family situations," Millbourne said. "A lot of hurt. Lot of pain."
Millbourne said it became too much to bear. She lost her home; staying with friends for nearly a year and half. That changed after she walked through the doors of Hope and Life Outreach of HALO in Salisbury.
"Veronica came into our shelter about four days after we had opened," said Celeste Savage who runs HALO. "She was broken. She was not working and obviously had no place to stay."
And Savage said Veronica wasn't alone. Savage said this year, HALO's Code Blue Emergency shelter was home to 55 women and children. Many enrolled in their life development program which helped Millbourne find a job at the Mountaire plant in Selbyville.
Then, it was time for the hard part.
"We set up a budget," Savage said. "We begin to help them pay their bills. Set up a savings account, to have money that they can spend for their own self to do whatever they want."
"It's very tough," Millbourne said. "Because I'm the type of person I like to spend."
After 85 days of budgeting, Veronica had enough money for a security deposit and first months rent. Last month, she moved into her own two bedroom home.
"It can happen. Just trust and believe," Millbourne said. "I can't say it's easy. It was really difficult trying to adjust to looking back on what it is not to have and looking now at where I'm at. It's just totally different."
Now Millbourne pledges to help others change their lives. She volunteers often with HALO. Savage said this year, HALO was able to help nine homeless families get into homes, and they helped four women find jobs.
HALO is always in need of donations. If you can help, call (410) 742-9356.
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