Evette was the only female interviewed for the project. Evette is a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving from 1983-1985. She was honorably released from service through a Red Cross program before her service contract was up when her mother became terminally ill and needed constant care. During her time in the military she served as an administrative specialist where she processed orders and helped with general base operations, later a mail clerk, and finally a special orders clerk where she worked directly under the base commander helping with administrative duties in Azores, Portugal. She traveled extensively overseas during her time in the military to places like Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Evette moved to Richmond when her mother died and she became homeless in Pennsylvania. She found an apartment in Richmond, where she made a deposit. Upon arriving, she found that the apartment had been a scam and she quickly ran out of money while trying to find somewhere else to live. She then became homeless and soon began living in the Richmond overflow housing as it was wintertime. When the overflow shelter closed for the season, she began living on the streets where she lived under a bridge with a community of other homeless people. She has been working with Virginia Supportive Housing for almost two years and has been successfully housed for a year through the HUD/VASH program. She spends her time now helping her elderly and disabled neighbors live independently and is looking for part time work to help fill her time.
Evette talks about why she joined the military and the basics of her job in the military.
Evette talks about what the military teaches you.
Evette talks about her homelessness journey from her mother’s death in PA to ending up living under a bridge in Richmond, VA.
Evette talks about living under the bridge and why she didn’t choose to stay in the shelter system.
Evette talks about the hardest part about not having a home being the lack of homely comforts like a bathroom and cooking.
Evette talks about the barriers that homeless veterans face, specifically her barrier about her reservations to take assistance and come inside.
“Society doesn’t know how to treat homeless people with dignity”
Evette talks about how/why veterans become homeless and why they stay homeless.
Evette talks about how the military prepared her and others for homelessness.
Evette talks about charity and giving back to those who are homeless because she knows what it is like to struggle.
Evette Lewis talks about the first day she was housed.