Little-known services help veteran get back on his feet
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — After six years homeless, Navy veteran Daniel Hinojosa has hit rock bottom after struggling to find a job and losing his home.
Psychological conditions, including anxiety and PTSD that stemmed from Hinojosa’s time in the military, sent him on a downward spiral.
Hinojosa says he slept on benches, on concrete floors – wherever he could to survive. He found it impossible to hold on to hope after being denied his veterans disability benefits.
Hinojosa’s doctor, who was treating him for anxiety at the time, eventually stepped in to help and put him in touch with a Veterans Affairs social worker.
“I got a phone call and a social worker said ‘Where are you?’ “said Hinojosa. “Mr. Revilla then sent an Uber to pick me up from the park bench where I was and took me to a hotel specifically for homeless veterans.”
Endeavors is an organization with branches throughout Texas. The group offers a variety of services for vulnerable people, including helping migrants and also veterans. Hinojosa said Hector Revilla was a big help, pointing him in the right direction and helping him get off the streets.
During Hinojosa’s stay at the hotel, he renewed his veteran’s ID and was able to receive a stimulus check.
He said he stayed at the hotel for about six months with other local veterans until he moved into his own apartment.
“My social worker helped me find an apartment,” Hinojosa said. “He even helped me furnish my house. And they provided me with a lot of groceries.”
On April 1, Hinojosa will celebrate one year living in her own apartment with her dog, Dulce.
Hinojosa was eventually approved for disability payments as a service-related veteran after being diagnosed with tinnitus. He said perseverance has paid off and he encourages others to do the same.
“Don’t give up! Keep filing your claim,” he said. “I’m living proof of that. It took me 15 years to get to where I am now. Don’t give up hope.”
Almost three years since the Department of Veterans Affairs stepped in to help Hinojosa; he wants to do the same for other local veterans.
“Now with my skills I can save veterans a lot of time on how to get help,” he said. “Any knowledge that has come to me, I try to pass it on. I’m a strong believer in passing it on.”
Currently, Hinojosa is working to create a support group for veterans who need help applying for Veteran’s Disability Award, and can be contacted at [email protected]
Here are the VA-related services and resources available locally for veterans in need:
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers local veterans services at the federal level.
The Corpus Christi Veterans Service Organization helps veterans at the federal, state and local levels. Services available include veterans assistance, access to insurance, medical care and education benefits.
Services Provided to Nueces County Veterans:
- Service-Related Disability Award
- Non-service related disability pension
- Debt waivers
- Claims for survivor benefits, including
- Request for Military Discharge Documents (DD 214)
- Correction of military records
- Request for medals and decorations
- Information and references for:
*Death (widow’s) pension
* Funeral allowance
* Plot Allocation
* VA Headstones
* VA Educational Benefits
*VA Health Care
*Texas Veterans Land Board Programs
* VA Home Loans
There are also several clinics in Corpus Christi for local veterans that focus on health care and mental health services.
Corpus Christi VA Clinic
5283 Old Brownsville Road
Corpus Christi, Texas 78405-3908
Main phone: 361-806-5600
The Corpus Christi VA Outpatient Clinic provides primary health care, mental health care, rehabilitation, prosthetics, physical and occupational therapy, and nutritional counseling. Women’s health services and an organ transplant program are also offered.
South Enterprize VA Clinic
205 Enterprize Driveway South
Corpus Christi, Texas 78405-4118
Main phone: 361-939-6510
The South Enterprize VA Outpatient Clinic provides primary health care and specialty health services, including cardiology, mental health care, orthopedics, physical and occupational therapy, and foot care.
Services of the Corpus Christi veterinary center:
4646 Corona Drive, Suite 250
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411
Main number: 361-854-9961
- Individual and group counseling for veterans, military members and their families
- Family counseling for army-related issues
- Bereavement counseling (mourning)
- Counseling and referral for military sexual trauma
- Community awareness and education
- Addiction Assessment and Referral
- Job reference
- Referral from other VA services