After a 20-year career in the Army, Eddie Miller retired to focus on his family. Not long after, his wife died in an accident, setting into motion a series of events that saw Miller alone, homeless and hopeless. An encounter with Operation Sacred Trust (OST) helped bring him back. OST is a south Florida-based initiative funded by VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program to end homelessness among Veterans.
After his wife’s death, Miller tried to pursue a new life. It didn’t work.
“My wife was my rock — we were married for 32 years,” he said. “I gave up, stopped paying bills, and fell into a deep depression.”
That’s when Miller found OST. He was among the first welcomed into its new operation in 2012, when he attended an OST orientation along with 50 other homeless Veterans in the Miami area.
Preventing and ending Veteran homelessness
OST provides rapid rehousing, case management, and legal, financial, and emergency assistance to Veterans. It also helps them rebuild long lost connections with family and friends. Since 2011, the organization has helped prevent and end homelessness for nearly 3,000 Veterans and family members across south Florida.
Miller did so well, he began volunteering at OST, thanks to Seth Eisenberg, president and founder. “For Eddie and many others, they discovered the real support they’d always needed and wanted was closer than they imagined,” Eisenberg said.
Ultimately, Miller’s time with OST gave him the confidence he needed to get his life back together.
“I ended up going to school at Miami Dade College and obtained my associate degree in addiction studies,” Miller said. “I made the dean’s list and graduated with honors after not being in school for 40 years.”
Now Miller resides in Memphis, Tennessee, close to one of his daughters and his grandchildren.
“I’m happy with where I’m at. I’ve got a beautiful place, and these are some of the best years of my life,” Miller said.
In 2018, Miami-Dade County became among the largest urban communities in the nation to achieve benchmarks set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to declare an end to chronic Veteran homelessness.
- Refer Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless to their local VA medical center, where VA employees are ready to assist, or urge them to call 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
- Visit https://www.411veterans.com/ to learn more about Operation Sacred Trust and the services it offers.
- Visit VA’s Homeless Veterans website to learn about employment initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.
By VA’s Homeless Veterans Outreach and Strategic Communications Office.