Center: US Veteran Shiloh Reynolds and Stephanie Dancy with their infant son, Shiloh, Jr., surrounded by United Housing, Catholic Charities, and St. Sebastian staff who helped them become homeowners.

Operation Home: A New Home for a New Year

Special Note: This post is written in collaboration with Alan Butson, Program Director for St. Sebastian Veteran Services, and with interview with Wayne Horton, St. Sebastian Peer Support Navigator. Watch this blog for further information in the St. Sebastian Newsletter.

The holidays are always a time of hope and of giving. For some, it can be hard. But this holiday season, Shiloh Reynolds, a ten year, honorably discharged, veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, has found hope in home. This New Year, UHI would like to formally welcome our newest homeowners, US Veteran Shiloh Reynolds, his partner, Stephanie Dancy, and their infant son, 8-month old Shiloh, Jr. They will close on their home in January 2016 but were able to move in early to be home for the holidays.

Thanks to the combined work of folks here at UHI, and from Catholic Charities of West Tennessee (CCWTN) and Orange Mound Community Development Corporation (OMCDC)--matched with the determination of the young family—they are now in their very own home where they celebrated their baby’s first Christmas.

Reynolds reached out to Catholic Charities' St. Sebastian Veteran Services (SSVS) program for housing assistance for himself and his family, his son, and his partner Stephanie Dancy. After being homeless and living in an emergency shelter for over a week, Mr. Reynolds and Ms. Dancy worked diligently with their case manager – Deloris Little to find viable housing options in Shelby County.

In just over two months, Mr. Reynolds has gone from being literally homeless, to a recipient of a fully renovated home given away by United Housing Inc., a CCWTN partner. Reynolds and his family closed on their home just in time for the holidays. Working on financial planning with United Housing's Priscilla Reed, the Reynolds are ready for the responsibility of the taxes, insurance and upkeep of the home and in fifteen years it is theirs – free and clear!

Mr. Reynolds and his family are just one of the 196 Veteran households in Shelby County who have received services from the SSVS program over the past year, and one of the 368 new homeowners that have worked with United Housing this year. Shiloh gives back, by volunteering with Supportive Services for Veteran Families on Fridays to assist veterans who are receiving furniture donations.

United Housing has been helping people provide stable housing for their families since 1994. In that time, we have helped more than 4000 buy or keep their home. Over the recent holidays, we could not be happier to offer our programs and services to veterans such as Shiloh, and by becoming a UHI customer, he is the latest addition to this resilient, determined, and dedicated group. The New Year is bright and full of hope for this young family and their New Home for the New Year!

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