Behind Every Door is a series of success stories featuring our neighbors who have been served by the Virginia Beach CDC and the regional outreach of Southeastern Virginia Housing Corporation.
The Virginia Beach CDC impacts the lives of 1500 neighbors each year. Samuel Pinckney is one of those neighbors.
When I met Samuel, I was immediately surprised by how open he was about the cause of his homelessness. After 12 years in the Army, his life became difficult due to financial troubles, the death of his mother, and a disability caused by surgery complications. "Thinking about my young son kept me alive, but I turned to drugs to self-medicate," explained Samuel. He was soon an addict.
Fast forward to 2012 - Samuel was homeless and finally ready to seek help with his drug addiction. "I have a son and a daughter, three grandkids, and two great-grandkids. I had to straighten my life up for them," he told me. He successfully completed an addiction recovery program at the VA Hospital, and the hospital referred him to VBCDC's Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to find stable housing.
Nancy Hendricks, VBCDC's Director of Asset Management, and Jill Fiorillo, a VBCDC Neighbor Advocate, recognized that Samuel had the potential to do well in the SSVF program. "He was a high barrier client with outstanding bills and difficulty managing his money. He went from being someone who had personal problems and issues with anger to someone who spreads his warmth and joy to everyone around him, including the case managers at VBCDC," Jill said of Samuel.
Now, Samuel has stable, permanent housing in Virginia Beach. He celebrates 2 years of clean living this December. On top of those tremendous successes, Samuel is also engaged to a minister named Janice who belongs to the church that he attends every week. "When I wasn't doing myself right, God was doing me right," said Samuel with a smile.
VBCDC's goal is to open more doors of opportunity to those needing affordable housing. We are looking for creative partnerships with other government, nonprofits, for profit businesses, private developers, citizens groups, educational institutions, etc. Let's have a conversation about changing lives.
Thank you for all that you do.
Gina R. Lucy
Gina is the Leader, Marketing & Community Relations and spends her days (and lots of evenings) telling the story of VBCDC to everyone in the community.