Historias de transformación

Historias de transformación

A Journey of Restoration and Self-Expression

junio 15, 2021 | Comentarios desactivados en A Journey of Restoration and Self-Expression

‘My Life Is New’

abril 28, 2021 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘My Life Is New’

‘MHALA Came Through for Me’

febrero 19, 2021 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘MHALA Came Through for Me’

‘2020 Was My Year’

diciembre 18, 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘2020 Was My Year’

‘The Skills I Learned Helped My Mom and I Get Jobs’

noviembre 25, 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘The Skills I Learned Helped My Mom and I Get Jobs’

‘I Did Everything Myself — But They Helped’

27 de julio de 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘I Did Everything Myself — But They Helped’

‘I Am Focused on Getting My Life in Order’

24 de junio de 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘I Am Focused on Getting My Life in Order’

'TAY me ha ayudado a salir de mi caparazón'

12 de mayo de 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘TAY Has Helped Me Come Out of My Shell’

'Tomé mi debilidad y la convertí en una fortaleza'

25 de marzo de 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘I Took My Weakness and Made it a Strength’

'Aquí es donde sucedió mi milagro'

20 de marzo de 2020 | Comentarios desactivados en ‘This Is Where My Miracle Happened’
‘MHALA Came Through for Me’

As a young girl living in New York City, Dee dreamed of going to California and figured that the best way to get there was to enlist. She spent five years in the US Marine Corps, stationed in El Toro. When she was honorably discharged, Dee — whose father is also an Army and Air Force Veteran — knew there were organizations who could help her as she returned to civilian life.

“Going from military to civilian life was a big transition,” says Dee. “It can be a cruel world. I slept on a lot of couches. If you don’t have a good temperament, you can get crushed. I had to figure out where I needed to be.”

Although programs to help Veterans were scarce in the 80s, Dee connected with agencies that helped her stay on her feet. She worked in banking, the US Postal Service, and, later, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Then, she says, “I got into a little bit of trouble in my 30s. I moved to Palmdale and that’s when I ran into Mental Health America of Los Angeles.

“There was a point where I was between jobs — I wanted to start my own business and had to upgrade my commercial driver’s license,” Dee explains. “MHALA connected me to educational programs and other services that helped me upgrade my license and helped me get my own truck. They are the greatest resource.

“MHALA also helped me out temporarily with rental assistance. That really pulled me through,” she adds. “MHALA came through for me. They do so much. They have everything for you, but you really have to be proactive about your wellbeing.”

As Dee began to find her way in the Antelope Valley, she met fellow Veterans and was surprised at the impact MHALA and its Military Resource Center have in the community. “Whenever there’s something military-related taking place in the area, you’re always going to see an MHALA stand and information being shared. They are always helping.”

Inspired by the help they have received and the needs of this particular population, Dee and an Air Force Veteran teamed up to form Life Source Oasis, a nonprofit organization in Palmdale that will provide temporary housing — as well as wraparound services — for homeless Veteran women.

“When I left the military, I needed someone to help me. Before I found MHALA, I stayed in my car a few times. That’s why Life Source Oasis is so important to me,” says Dee. “I don’t want other women to have to do that. I want to help.

“MHALA recognizes people and the progress they make,” she adds. “I went to MHALA’s Golden Bell Awards in 2019 and was so moved by all the people they help.”

In 2020, Dee became MHALA’s Chimbole Champion. The award goes to an individual who, through their own recovery, demonstrate great leadership and become a role model for others. She hopes that in the future she can team up with MHALA to help Veterans get mental health services and other types of assistance.

“I can’t think of an organization more fit for the task,” she says. “I’ve got nothing but high praise for MHALA.”