Patchogue veteran assistance program gives Middle Island woman new home

An Army veteran is starting a new life with help of a Patchogue veteran assistance organization.
Tywana Key enlisted in the Army to help fight in the war against terrorism  immediately after the Twin Towers collapsed on Sept. 11.
“I actually ran to the recruiters office after 9/11,” says Key.
The veteran and mother of three tells News 12 she found help at Supportive Services for Veteran Families.
The program also known as SSVF helps veterans who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness to secure permanent housing. Funds are given by the Veteran Administration.
“We've received about $700,000 from there and we received the second pot of CARES money which is about $1.4 million,” says Robert O’Donnell, of Supportive Services for Veterans Services.
SSVF has helped 175 veterans with rental payments during the pandemic thus far, and Key is one of them.
After losing her job at the Northport VA at the start of the pandemic, the Middle Island woman says she quickly fell behind on rent and that her landlord threatened eviction.
“I don't feel right because I don't have the means to pay the rent…to make sure my kids had a roof over their heads. So, I had to do something about it,” says Key.
“There's families involved, there's spouses involved.  We don't want to see these people end up in the shelter system or on the street,” says Richard Dellasso, of Supportive Services for Veteran Families
As a result of SSVF’s housing assistance, Key was able to gain a new lease on life, saying in part, “If it wasn't for them, I actually don't know how much hope I would have been able to hold onto…You're not alone, just reach out.”
To be eligible for housing help, you must meet the following requirements: - Be a veteran with at least one day of active service.
- All discharge statuses are accepted, except dishonorable.
- Household income cannot exceed 50% of the area median income.
- Recipients must be homeless or at risk of homelessness.