It seems James Evans-Hammond has been a perfect fit for St. Francis House since his very first day as a volunteer. Mr. Evans-Hammond was born in northeast Arkansas, and his family still live in the area. He received his BS in Psychology and Counseling from UCA and was working in Memphis when he decided to pursue his master’s in Social Work. “I was thinking about relocating to Little Rock and knew I would need someplace to do my first internship. I’m a twenty-year Episcopalian, and so I checked into Episcopal charities in the area. I found the St. Francis House website and decided to call.”
Mr. Evans-Hammond began at St. Francis House as a volunteer in July 2016 and quickly became a part of the St. Francis House team. When his internship began the next January, he began doing supervised case management with the Re-Entry program. “I had worked with some Veterans previously, so I already had a background on some of the issues, but I never thought I’d be working primarily with veterans.” During his internship, he also began helping out as need with Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
When a position opened up in SSVF, Mr. Evans-Hammond was a natural choice. He worked full-time for St. Francis House while completing his second internship at Lucie’s Place. He completed his MSW from Arizona State in July of last year, and shortly after that was able to move into a Social Work position with the Re-Entry program. “There is honestly no place like St. Francis House. The staff is a family, and everyone is quick to help.”
St. Francis House offers a range of services for Veterans experiencing homelessness. “HUD-VASH, a collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing, and SSVF work with lower-income Veterans, but there are often Veterans that don’t need the financial assistance as case management services after they get in housing,” states Mr. Evans-Hammond.
When a VA grant became available that would help fill that need, Mr. Evans-Hammond helped write the application for St. Francis House, and when the on was approved, he moved into that position. “Even if someone is doing well financially, there are a host of other issues that they might be dealing with. I help facilitate everything from medical care to legal help to budgeting to mediating with landlords. I’m learning what resources, both private and public, are available and giving them the intensive support they might need in their first months of being back on their own. I hope more and more people learn about St. Francis House. It’s amazing the big stuff this relatively little agency is doing, and I love being a part of it!”