Air Force Vet Credits Haven for Giving Him Purpose

DevLynn is an only child. When his parents needed help and care as they aged, he knew he needed to be there. “I signed that paperwork the day I was born. They raised me, took care of me, I needed to be there for them.”

DevLynn cared for his parents and after his grandmother and parents passed away, he lived off his inheritance. Until the lease was more than he could afford. “I couldn’t sign the lease. I couldn’t stay there anymore.” DevLynn took his belongings and lived in his car. His car was paid for and if it was running, he had a place to stay. Then his car broke down. He couldn’t afford to retrieve it after it was towed. He didn’t have a valid ID. “All I had was my D214 military ID, it doesn’t have a photo,” he explained.

DevLynn relied on his support system to help him for a few months. But without a job or the money to keep paying for his stuff in storage, he knew he needed more help. His friend helped him get his valuables out of storage, including his father’s ashes. “That was very important to me.” As an Air Force vet, he didn’t fully understand the benefits he had earned. His friend dropped him off at Haven for Hope and he began working with the Veteran’s team. “I’m working on getting my identity back, I’m enrolled in VA health benefits, I have my VA ID card, I’m working on my income and housing plans.”

He thanks the team at Haven for giving him direction. “I didn’t know what to do, where to go to get help. The team worked with me. If I have a bad day, they pick up me up and tell me to stick it out.” It’s important for DevLynn to transform his life. “I don’t want to fail. Even though my parents aren’t here to see this, I don’t want to disappoint them.” He believes it’s a privilege to live in the United States and he is glad he served four years in the Air Force. “Serving in the military helped me understand the freedoms we have.”

He is willing to take any job that will provide a steady income. He owes his progress to his support system, especially his case manager, Jose. He said Haven for Hope staff will point you in the right direction, but he must do the work. “Thank you, Haven for giving me direction. Thank you for giving me purpose.”

To hear from DevLynn, click here!

Tanavita – Overcoming substance use and mental health barriers

Tanavita came to Haven for Hope for one purpose – to get help with her mental health. Tanavita grew up in a loving family. She was raised in California and “never wanted for anything.” She recalls family trips to Disneyland and the beach.

Tanavita is like many of Haven’s clients. She suffers from depression and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. When possible, she took the proper medications, but when things would get rough, she self-medicated with drugs and alcohol. She moved around a lot and eventually moved to East Texas when her sister asked her to come and live with her. While at her sister’s, Tanavita got a job but was very lonely. Her depression worsened.

Her Mom and daughter had moved to San Antonio. Tanavita knew she wanted to help care for her Mom, but she needed to get her life back on track. Tanavita turned to Google and found Haven for Hope. Haven is the second shelter she has been to. She came with the goal to get the proper medication for her mental health conditions and learn to become a part of society again.

“I am a willing participant. I follow all the guidelines,” she said. “I have utilized the Clinical Services, Income and Skills Development resources and landed a job within 22 days.” Staff at Haven have suggested that Tanavita become a peer support counselor.

Click here to hear from Tanavita and her experiences at Haven for Hope.

Helping Students Address Their Hidden Bias

Haven for Hope collaborates with more than 70 community partners and organizations to bring our clients the most comprehensive services to help them transform their lives.  One of our partners is UT Health San Antonio.


UT Health San Antonio has remained committed to combating health care disparities in San Antonio and South Texas by expanding access to health care services for all vulnerable patient populations.

However, even with equality as a top priority for many health care professionals, addressing one’s personal bias remains a crucial part of preventing unnecessary barriers to patient care, said Vidal Balderas, DDS, MPH, an associate professor of comprehensive dentistry in the School of Dentistry.

Click here to read the story from UT Health San Antonio.