Victoria Benton, Navy
Victoria Benton is no stranger to hardship.
In 2018, her husband tragically passed away at the age of 25. Two weeks later, she found out she was pregnant.
Victoria gave birth to her son, Cesar, less than a year later and began raising him as a single mother.
Already on a tight budget, Victoria lost her job two weeks before Christmas in 2022. Without much savings, the Navy veteran dug deep to make ends meet.
“I closed out my 401K to pay my rent and all my bills and all my car stuff,” Victoria said.“Eventually, when I didn’t get a job fast enough, there was nothing left.”
Victoria reached out for rental assistance with another organization and was thrilled to learn she had been approved. So, it came as a surprise to see an eviction letter on her door shortly after the first of the month.
“I called the company and the woman on the phone told me she had mixed me up with another customer,” Victoria said. “It wasn’t me. It was someone else’s apartment that was approved.”
Panic instantly set in.
“It was mortifying,” Victoria said. “Here I was, for the past two weeks, sitting here thinking, ‘Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus, for providing for us,’ and then come to find out, she just happened to get it wrong.”
Desperate and looking to shield her son from her struggle, Victoria found USA Cares and was approved for assistance. Her and Cesar avoided homelessness by a matter of days.
“A lot of us vets, we’re not good at asking for help,” Victoria said. “It was a difficult and humbling experience.”
Now focused on finding her next job, Victoria is glad she has one less thing to worry about.
“I am eternally grateful that someone was there to grab my hand when I was reaching out of the water,” Victoria said. “These donors, these people willing to help, God bless them. They need to know the impact they have so they know how important their support is.”