Homeless female vets discover confidence and hope

Cleveland car donation gives the gift of independence.

After 25 years of living on the streets, addicted to drugs and alcohol, Melinda Lindsay is about to celebrate four years sober.

When she was discharged from the army in 1985, Lindsay “went to the party and just stayed there.” However, now, with the support of the Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park, she is taking college classes and is well on her way to independence.

A partnership between Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio and the Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs, the domiciliary may be the first of its kind in the nation. VA handles the clinical affairs while Volunteers of America ensures the life skills and logistics of the 25-bed program are taken care of.

Volunteers of America also provides critical supportive services like assisting Wade Park’s residents with finding safe, affordable, long-term housing once they leave the domiciliary.

Sonya Thompkins is the Volunteers of America program director at Wade Park. “We try to make sure all the little pieces come together for them,” she said. “We’ll help them get furniture for their apartment, or get their utilities turned on. We’ll help them with anything they need to get their life together, like getting a state I.D., a Social Security card or a driver’s license.”

Thompkins went on to explain that Volunteers of America will also assist clients with enrolling in vocational training, going back to school, finding a job and creating a résumé in addition to helping them with basic life skills like money management and relationships.

Domiciliary Chief Patricia James-Stewart explained that many of the veterans she sees face issues centering around self-esteem. Most have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, which is often compounded by military sexual trauma, post traumatic stress disorder and depression. This low self-esteem can hold them back from accomplishing their goals.

“There’s a lot of shame, a lot of insecurities. All these things get in their way,” Lindsay agreed. “I always felt like I was never worthy of anything good,” she said. “But now I know I am.”

Donate your car in Cleveland.

Your Cleveland car donation can make a drastic change in a female veteran’s life. At Volunteers of America, we rely on the generosity of neighbors like you to support the veterans programs and services that make facilities like the Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park possible.

Donating your car in Cleveland is simple. We’ll take almost anything with a motor, whether it's a car, truck, motorcycle, RV, boat or tractor. You could even receive more for your donation on your tax return than you would selling it on your own.

Call us today at (800) 862-6030 to schedule your free same-day pickup or visit our car donation FAQs.