Bernice Feagins, Army
In 2017, Bernice Feagins had served nearly 30 years in the
US Army and Army Reserves and was receiving BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) for both her and her adult son when payments suddenly stopped.
“Because my son was in college, he was supposed to be a dependent until he turned 22,” Bernice said. “But when he turned 21, they took him off. I didn’t receive BHA payment for two months. That was thousands of dollars suddenly not coming in.”
As a reservist on orders, Bernice was staying in a hotel. Unable to pay out-of-pocket for housing, she became overwhelmed and depressed.
“They were telling me I was about to be kicked out,” Bernice said. “I had never been homeless. I was terrified.”
Determined not to let the payment issues derail her life, Bernice began reaching out to veteran organizations, eventually finding USA Cares. With assistance, Bernice was able to stay in her home and fix the paperwork issue with her son.
“The help was monumental,” Bernice said. “It literally stopped me from being homeless. It saved me.”
Bernice’s son went on to become the first college graduate in his family while Bernice retired from the Army in 2020. She said they are both doing well.
“If I ever get to the place where I can pay it back, I want
to,” Bernice said of USA Cares’ assistance. “I want to help the next service
member or veteran that needs help.”