Success Stories

Supportive Housing: Christian’s Success Story

When Christian arrived at Endeavors™’ Fairweather Family Lodge, Child Protective Services was involved with her children and she was in drug court due to a drug addiction.

She also had no bank account, a low credit score, a broken lease, six traffic warrants, owed money to the city, and had defaulted on loans.

Due to drug use, Christian had severe damage to her teeth and gums and invisible wounds from past trauma and untreated depression.

Upon arriving to the Fairweather Family Lodge, Christian had access to mental and dental healthcare a had a chance to re-bond with her children.

The Fairweather Family Lodge environment offered the family a sense of of safety and security, enabling them to heal from past trauma from domestic violence.

Christian says the shelter, support, and material help supported her in learning how to be a parent and enabled her to focus on being a mom. Part of that support was the group environment. By meeting others moms and children who had survived a situation like hers, Christian was able to see the road to improvement and the life she wanted.

“Addiction isolated me and FFL linked me with other families who were walking in my same shoes.”

Christian received care to fix her teeth and gums. She opened a new bank account, paid off all debts, and repaired her credit score. She was also able to begin saving and paying back her loans.

When Christian and her children left the Fairweather Family Lodge, they left to a home that she bought – one of her greatest accomplishments and one that had considered unattainable.

From Christian: 

“[Fairweather Family Lodge] has given me priceless gifts of healing and growth with my children. Together, we have come a long way emotionally and spiritually! A true fresh start from the wreckage of my past; 1,000 pound weight lifted off my shoulders. I have friendships that I didn’t know I needed and will keep all my life!”


Find out more about our Fairweather programs.

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Veteran Navigator Program: Maurice’s Success Story

Maurice (“Max”) is a Veteran of the US Air Force and Hurricane Katrina survivor who has struggled with depression and homelessness. When he was referred to the Endeavors™ Veteran Navigator Program in San Antonio, Maurice was living in his truck after an eviction and other setbacks but quickly showed commitment to improving his life and building a new future.

The same day Maurice entered the Veterans Navigator Program he was moved into housing with food and necessities to help him transition to stable housing. Soon after enrollment, Maurice was approved for an apartment through one of Endeavors’™ long-standing partnerships with a local apartment manager. With the help of an Employment Specialist, he also began working.

Within months, Maurice secured a position at a car dealership detailing vehicles and his story was an example of success. After several months of working, he experienced another life-changing setback when his mother passed away and he became the sole caretaker for his disabled younger brother.

Maurice left his job to focus on parenting but continued moving forward, beginning his own mobile car detail business and enrolling in a local entrepreneurship program. To help his new business succeed and grow, the Navigators also helped him purchase the equipment needed to fit his vehicle with supplies needed to complete mobile detailing requests.

Eight months after joining the Veteran Navigator Program, Maurice now provides services to over 15 cars weekly, allowing him to sustain his apartment and continue to care for his brother.

Endeavors success story veteran homelessness navigator

Thank you to USAA and the Disabled Veterans National Foundation. Grants from these organization help to support the Navigator program and employment advancement opportunities for our Veterans.

For program information or if you know a homeless Veteran, please call 210-431-6466

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Community Based Services: Spencer’s Success Story

In January, the Community Based Services (CBS) team in San Antonio received a referral from Adult Protective Services to assist a 71 year-old client, Spencer, with housing. A Case Aid assisted him in filling out an application for housing assistance and connected him tot he local public housing organization. Normally, this was to be the point where our assistance ended, but it was only the beginning…
Spencer was unable to get in contact with his housing caseworker. Worried he would not be able to find housing by his deadline, Spencer began making regular visits to Endeavors™, biking or taking the bus, many days there first thing in the morning to greet our staff unlocking the door.

Whereas other local service agencies were not responding timely to Spencer, with heartfelt commitment to our mission, the CBS team continued to help Spencer beyond the original request received from Adult Protective Services. After several weeks of support and persistently advocating for Spencer, our Case Aid helped him find the perfect apartment.

Right before Spencer moved to his new apartment, he rode his bike to the office one more time and brought a box of donuts he had specially made for the Case Aid. Spencer was thankful that our staff had taken the time to work with him and had remained patient, but most of all he was grateful that he had been shown care and compassion.

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Veteran Services: Mr. Dayton’s Success Story

After four years of service, Mr. Dayton, a US Air Force Veteran, struggled with mental health issues and the inability to provide for his family. Mr. Dayton was homeless for two years, commuting to a nearby town for odd jobs while staying in abandoned home to be near his ill mother.

After being introduced to a Veteran Supportive Services case manager at Endeavors™, Mr. Dayton was able to gain permanent supportive housing. Along with rental and utility assistance, Endeavors™ also provided Mr. Dayton with a mattress, general housing items and food to meet some of his most basic needs. Once housed, Mr. Dayton was able to start receiving mental health services at the VA, apply for SNAP benefits and get his GI bill reinstated.

Mr. Dayton has been accepted to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Brownsville and is participating in daily tutoring sessions to prepare himself for the summer semester. In addition to his studies, Mr. Dayton has been offered a work-study position through the University’s Upward Bound program. Endeavors™, with a donation from Green Beret in McAllen, provided Mr. Dayton with a bicycle so that he can commute to work and school more easily. Mr. Dayton continues to work with his case manager at Endeavors™ and has recently applied for the HUD/VASH program in order to receive a Housing Choice Voucher.

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Veteran Services: Ivory’s Success Story

In 1981, Ivory Smith was honorably discharged from the US Army after four years of service. As a Veteran, Ivory struggled with substance abuse and homelessness. After some self-reflection, he decided to seek assistance from Villa Serena, a San Antonio drug and alcohol rehabilitation center operated through the Department of Veteran Affairs, where he was connected with a Lead Navigator from Endeavors™’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF). The Navigator explained to Ivory, “This is an empowerment program. In order for you to improve your situation, you have to be dedicated to maintaining sobriety and addressing your mental health.”

Ivory was ready and took initiative to help himself. With veteran services and Intensive Case Management from his assigned Navigator, he was able to maintain sobriety and obtain part-time employment. Ivory utilized financial support to obtain his Certified Nursing Assistance license through the State of Texas where he is now currently employed full-time, helping to achieve his ultimate goal of self-sufficiency and continued sobriety.

The Veteran Services program offers Homelessness Prevention & Stabilization Services to Veterans and their families in Texas, Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. These supportive services include outreach, case management, help in obtaining VA benefits, emergency financial assistance for rent & utilities and assistance in obtaining and coordinating other public benefits.

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Veteran Services: Shaunda’s Success Story

US Air Force Veteran, Shaunda Lohse, was discharged under honorable conditions after four years of service. After leaving the Air Force, Shaunda had many battles with her health, both mentally and physically, and had difficulty maintaining housing and providing for her family. Shaunda struggled with homelessness, having been homeless four separate times in her life. In 2011, Shaunda was featured on the Food Network show “Cupcake Wars,” but at home she was struggling to remain housed and maintain her bakery. Every day she battles anxiety and PTSD, which led to Shaunda voluntarily admitting herself to a psychiatric facility receive help. After enduring years of domestic violence and serving two years in prison for a wrongful conviction, Shaunda relocated to San Antonio where she lived in her car until she was housed by Family Endeavors.

Since enrolling in the Family Endeavors Veteran services program, Shaunda’s life has turned around. Shaunda has gained full-time employment and has also become coordinator for her church’s food pantry, helping direct the delivery of food to the elderly, fulfilling her passions for cooking and helping others. She now utilizes the VA for mental health care and attends church for social support. Shaunda is on her way to obtaining self-sufficiency by beginning to contribute to her rent. This December, Shaunda hopes to regain visitation rights to her children. Shaunda continues to strive to become a positive role model in the community and give back in any way that she can.

Learn more about our Veteran services and locations.

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Alexis thrives at Fairweather Family Lodge


Affected by the use of drugs in her family, Alexis was placed in foster care for a year.

Shortly after her mother Nancy arrived at Fairweather Family Lodge (FFL), Alexis was reunited with her. Alexis has shown tremendous growth and success since arriving in February 2012 to FFL, a United Way-funded program for formerly homeless mothers with significant disabilities and their children.

At age 12, Alexis has already overcome significant obstacles in her life. Upon arrival at FFL, Alexis began thriving. She is enrolled in advanced placement courses at her Middle School and is in the process of applying for a placement at a Magnet High School. She plays a vital role in the performing arts program at school, participating in choir, orchestra, and theatre arts.

When she is not at school, you can find Alexis at HYPE, a Youth Coalition and a Performing arts group, where she performs at different community centers teaching younger children and peers about the dangers of using tobacco through presentations and activities.

In her personal life, Alexis is a supportive daughter and helps to provide care for her mother who is facing end stage liver disease.

A role model to other children at FFL, Alexis’ outgoing spirit and personality uplift the entire Lodge community on a daily basis.

Alexis says that The Fairweather Family Lodge was the one place she could wake up and feel no sense of fear. Her life could finally begin.

Alexis plans to pursue a degree in Business to build a foundation for her long-term goals in the performing arts.

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Veteran Services: Harold Pegues

Veteran Harold Pegues was referred to Family Endeavors by Operation Inasmuch. Veteran was homeless for almost 2 years, sleeping on the bench at Operation Inasmuch. Veteran did not receive any financial assistance nor was he aware of the resources available in the community to help him. He was connected to services beginning with the HUD-VASH office. Veteran was able to register at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, then applied for and obtained a HUD-VASH voucher, and was rapidly re-housed. Family Endeavors assisted veteran with security deposit, his prorated rent, utility deposit, queen size bed, and bus passes. Veteran Pegues also connected to services through Cumberland County Department of Social Services – Food & Nutrition Services and Safelink Wireless. Veteran was able to obtain a free government assistance phone and Food & Nutrition Services benefits. Veteran is enjoying his new place and happy to share his story so that others may benefit.

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Veteran Stories: Kevin “Billy” Smith

Kevin “Billy” Smith was referred to the agency by NC Department of Veteran Affairs. Mr. Smith was found living in a shed on someone’s property without running water or electricity. He served two tours in Vietnam and experienced five different episodes of homelessness within the last 10 years, the latest episode lasting 8-plus years. When Family Endeavors located him, he was not very trusting and he refused to be housed because he would not leave his dog. He was reassured a home could be found for both of them. In the coming days, dog treats were brought, private funding was secured for the pet deposit and conversations switched from him getting housed to finding a warm place for his dog Buddy. He finally relented. Housing was secured within 26 days with a backyard for his dog, close to shopping and close to the city’s bus system. Family Endeavors purchased a new bed. Berean Baptist Church donated blankets, dishes, cleaning supplies and household items. Since being housed, Mr. Smith has been connected to the VA for medical services and the Social Security Administration.

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Glen’s Story

Prior to me coming into the Fairweather program, I was in very bad shape. All I would do is lay around my apartment everyday and watch television. I had all my blinds and curtains closed. I had it as dark as possible. I lived in a world of hallucinations, depression, anxiety, had very bad dreams and heard voices. I would look out my peek-hole and actually see and hear people talking, which made me afraid to go outside the apartment. I would only go out to empty the trash and check the mail. I was very afraid of people. For me to have to ride the bus was a crisis, because not only was I paranoid, but I thought everyone on the bus was either talking about me or simply looking at me. It got so bad for me I had to get off the bus and go back home. At home I couldn’t rest or sleep for weeks at a time. I had no one to call on, being that my family just didn’t understand what my mental state was. My brother and his girlfriend would bring me food.

At times my dreams would have me running from my apartment. Just to realize later that it was just a dream! I don’t know what caused me to try to act out these dreams. I do know that as far as I was concerned, my ordeals were so real and there was nothing I could do about them. My psychiatrist at the time acted as if he didn’t believe the psychotic episodes or what I was going through. He claimed that my mind was playing tricks on me.

Finally getting into Fairweather Lodge, It was a Friday that I was accepted into the program. They asked me when did I want to move in and I was so excited! I told them that I would move in on Monday. The clients and staff were so nice to me. I finally felt I was somebody with a support system and as long as I stayed in the program, that I’d never be alone.

The staff at Fairweather were and still to this day are the most professional and caring people I know. If I have a problem or concern they are always there for me. Since I came into the program I have made a 180° turn around. I’m not perfect and I still have problems, but in this program there’s always someone to talk to in helping you resolve your problems. I’m still a little apprehensive about people both staff and client, but through Fairweather they gave me the tools to cope. Fairweather tries to always have us do positive things.

I thank God and the Fairweather program for what it has done for me. Fairweather not only supply the bare essentials of life, like, food, shelter etc., but there’s a strong base to help you socially. Whether you need to see a doctor, go check with Social Security or to file your income tax. Fairweather can and will try to take care of you socially or mentally.

Fairweather has a job program also, where you can work and earn money. I’m presently a crew-leader on one of our janitorial crews. I’ve made employee of the month two times and to top that off, I made Janitorial employee of the year 2004. Can you believe that?

There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that if it wasn’t for Fairweather, there’s no telling where I’d be. That’s why I appreciate the Fairweather program and its entire staff. Here at Fairweather you are treated like a person and not by your illness. I’d recommend Fairweather to anyone.

Thanks, Glen

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