“You can help me with that, too?”

Caitlin, 43, felt fortunate that she had no lingering symptoms of stress after she left the military and returned to civilian life. But COVID-19 was an unusual enemy. She hadn’t fallen ill, but she was unemployed, isolated, and depressed. She only reached out to PA 211 when her unpaid electric bill got so high that she had to admit she was in a downward spiral.

Our Resource Navigator referred Caitlin to three local organizations that help low-income utility customers with crisis grants, and to two agencies that specifically serve Veterans. Hearing the despair in Caitlin’s voice, our Resource Navigator also gave her the number for a mental health hotline.

When we called to check on her two weeks later, Caitlin reported that United Way of Venango County had paid part of her electric bill. Final Salute, a national organization that helps female Veterans facing homelessness, had made a payment, too. Caitlin was confident that she’d be able to handle the remaining balance; she expected to be working again soon, after a very positive interview with a security firm. She feels better, and is more engaged in life, knowing that she has the community’s support.

“I really appreciate that you’re looking out for people like me.” – Caitlin, NW PA

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