Transitional Housing Program Finds Home Near Family

Transitional Housing Program Finds Home Near Family

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Ask Miguel.

His son, a single father, called Miguel in 2018 while he was still living in Florida and asked for help caring for Miguel’s granddaughter. It was a good reason to get out of an unhappy situation, so he loaded up his Explorer and headed west. A major car wreck in Tennessee left him hurt and stranded in Nashville shortly after, and he wound up in a local shelter.

Months later, he finally made it to Washington. It was the first time he’d met the little girl who’d kicked off his turbulent trip west.

Establishing his life here was difficult, though. Miguel met Melissa Frink at an outreach event for homeless veterans at Nativity House Shelter in Tacoma in June 2019. Melissa told him what the WDVA Transitional Housing Program could offer: his own room, three meals a day, transportation services, free WiFi, laundry facilities, a fishing pond, work therapy opportunities, and on-site intensive case management. By July 11, Miguel had moved out of his car and into Roosevelt Barracks on the Soldier’s Home grounds in Orting.

The Army veteran started working with Frink, now his case manager, to fortify his physical and mental health. These were key to becoming stable enough for an independent lifestyle and a place of his own. That two-year goal became a reality in early September.

Melissa advocated for a Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher this year, guiding Miguel through paperwork, documentation, and tracking down leads. They worked with his VASH case manager and found him a cozy apartment in Auburn. It took time, effort, and two years of self-improvement but now he has a place of his own. It’s his first in a decade.

But even getting settled into his new home is taking effort. His car broke down, and then he missed an appointment meant to secure furniture, pushing his move-in back even farther. Nearly three weeks after getting the keys, he’s finally on the cusp of moving in fully. He’s serene about it, though: “I’m not in any rush.”

Having a home close to his family is important to him, and he takes his responsibilities as a grandfather seriously. Even after he gets moved in and comfortable at his home, he says he’ll still be there at 7am to babysit to the ‘6 going on 15-year-old’ who insists on calling him ‘grandfather.’

“I’m trying my best to make her the princess of the castle.”

For more information on the WDVA Transitional Housing Program, visit Veterans Transitional Housing Program | WDVA (