Addressing the Social Needs of Veterans in Virginia

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Michelle Story served in the US Navy for 15 years, and is currently the Lead Case Manager at Mission United of the United Way of South Hampton Roads. Unite Us launched the Mission United of South Hampton Roads network 1 year ago, in Hampton Roads, VA and to date the network has made tremendous impact in the local community in serving local Veterans. They have also found success in partnering with key Veteran organizations to build and grow the size of the network and thus the reach of impact. 

Working with Michelle has been an incredible experience for the team here at Unite Us. Her dedication to serving Veterans through addressing their social needs has had a clear impact on Veterans in the Hamptons Roads area, but it also continues to inspire and motivate Unite Us to work even harder to ensure that there is seamless collaboration between providers along the continuum of care. 

Q. What are the reasons that you got into the work you're doing now? 

A. I became a Social Worker to help military affiliated individuals address and manage the social, emotional, psychological, and familial challenges they may face as a result of their service to our Nation. Active and former military personnel and their families can face unique psychological and emotional challenges due to their experiences, including isolation, anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. They may also experience socioeconomic, familial, and/or behavioral problems such as unemployment and financial hardship, marital conflicts, isolation from social circles,
and substance abuse.

Q. What has been the impact of what you are doing?

A. Mission United of United Way South Hampton Roads launched one year ago on Veteran’s Day 2016. To date we have assisted over 750 Veterans find the right help for the challenge, or in many cases the multiple challenges they were facing. The Unite Us integrated platform allows us to refer efficiently and effectively with our partners and to have the ability to track progress throughout the lifecycle of the case. This means that instead of bureaucracy and endless phone calls Veterans are assisted with the
promptness, respect and caring they deserve for their service to our Nation. Veterans we have assisted have enrolled in college, become employed, received emergency food assistance, begun much needed counseling and obtained safe and affordable daycare.

Q. What is a success story of helping another Veteran or Service Member?

A. A Veteran experiencing homelessness was staying at a local shelter while he attended training to update his IT background. He was referred to Mission United by the Veterans Administration (VA). This Veteran had received a grant for $2,000 for his education but was short $128.00 to cover the remainder of his tuition and a required textbook. Mission United was able to assist and it reminded me how razor-thin the line between homelessness with no ability to sustain one’s self and the education and or training that might allow one to do so. In this case the difference was that $128.

Branch of Service: United States Navy

Length of Service: 15 Years

When did you serve: 1985-2000

Where did you serve: Naval Training Center, Orlando Florida; Naval Technical Training Center, San Antonio Texas;Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Japan; Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico; Naval Air Station, Jacksonville Florida; Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Jacksonville Florida

Michelle, Thank you for your continued dedication and support especially when it comes to addressing the social, emotional, and psychological needs of Veterans. Our partnership with you and Mission United has been inspiring and we are very excited about what is yet to come. 

Thank You,

From Unite Us



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