Local veteran goes from homelessness to home-ownership

Cholla Fox, veteran homeowner (Courtesy: KFOX)

A local veteran has gone from being homeless to owning her first home in El Paso.

Cholla Fox served in the U.S. Army for more than 25 years. After leaving the military, she struggled to find a permanent place to live.

"Sometimes there are financial problems. Even though you are military, you don't get paid a lot," said Fox.

With help from the El Paso Housing Authority over the past year, Fox was able to finally settle into her forever home.

Fox signed up for the HUD VASH program (Housing and Urban Development – Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing), part of a 2008 federal initiative to help veterans go from homelessness to home ownership.

The HUD VASH program offers Section 8 vouchers to veterans who apply for it. So far there are 244 veterans using the HUD VASH program locally. Since the program started, three area veterans have graduated into home-ownership.

Phil Rhodes graduated from the program. He said it's not easy for veterans to leave the military and resume normal life. That is why he believes the HUD VASH program is valuable.

"For the veteran that completes this program, it opens up the next opportunity for the next vet," said Rhodes.

Dawn-yel Fox said she is proud of her mother.

"I am so proud of her and I look up to her so one day I hope I can be as successful as her when it comes to something like this," said Dawn-yel Fox.

Cholla Fox said she hopes the next veteran who uses her voucher will take advantage of it.

"I hope they try to do what I did. Get on their feet and then go for a house like I did," said Cholla Fox.

The Housing Authority tells KFOX14 they plan to apply for more vouchers to help more veterans in El Paso.

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