Veteran Finds Home Sweet Home at Capital Studios

January 14, 2015 | Posted in Housing | Keywords:

Lisa Nave and twelve other formerly homeless veterans walked into a completed Capital Studios last month for the first time. It was a momentous occasion. They took a tour of their new community together and signed their leases. For Lisa, that day meant finally putting all of her belongings in one place and moving into a stable, safe home of her very own.

“I feel rested, and I am relaxed,” Lisa said. “I haven’t felt this way ever.”

There were times in Lisa’s life when she would barricade her doors and windows because she didn’t feel safe. She spent sleepless nights in the bed of her truck, on friends’ couches and, most recently, in a homeless shelter.

Lisa left the U.S. Army Reserve reluctantly after 19 years of service. She was 35 at the time and struggling with the repercussions of the abuse, neglect and harassment she faced both as a child and as an adult.

Lisa had enlisted in the Army to escape her dysfunctional childhood home and the military became her way of life. When mental health issues worsened in her early 30s, she lost the only career she had ever known.

Five months after leaving the military, Lisa had depleted her savings. Her past haunted her and her future seemed bleak.

Lisa and her teenage daughter moved from place to place, trying to find a home where they belonged.

“I didn’t have a place where I felt welcome, even with my own family,” Lisa said.

Ultimately, Lisa was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and her doctor urged her to get counseling. Lisa made the decision to move to Austin to get the treatment she needed and to be close to her daughter, who now lives in San Antonio. She found Austin Clubhouse, a Foundation Communities partner, as a critical source of support.

At Capital Studios, Lisa said she is enjoying the simple pleasures that are often taken for granted: a warm shower, a satisfying meal, a bed to rest her head. She is also looking to her future, which she said is filled with healing and opportunities.

“I’ve always lived in haunted houses,” Lisa said. “Now I can have a home sweet home.”