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MEET: Dusty Lee


U.S. Army Veteran Dusty Lee was homeless and staying at the New York Avenue Men’s Emergency Shelter when he met Friendship Place case manager Nisha Vashisht.

“Nisha’s crew showed up at the shelter and picked out vets from the line. They gave me some paperwork to fill out, asked me a whole bunch of questions, and then said their team would get on it as soon as possible. Less than two weeks later, I was on Nisha’s caseload.”

“Every need that I had was addressed by Friendship Place. I was provided references for I.D., birth certificate, medical, legal. I was provided travel accommodation to view multiple rentals. I was provided with three months’ rent and optional dishes and a bed. I was provided with job search assistance, proper attire, and transportation to maintain employment.”

Mr. Lee now works security at Dior and other high-end boutiques and lives in College Park, Maryland.

“I was so excited when Nisha finally got me a place. Now I’m financially stable. I’m still in the red, but climbing out. Now, I’m not just living paycheck to paycheck. I’m actually incrementally going forward. I have a dresser, a chair. I haven’t been able to buy that stuff in over three years. It’s pretty fantastic.”

Mr. Lee is currently enrolled at the University of Maryland University College, studying cyber security. “Next up on my agenda is to buy myself a computer and then I can start knocking out online courses, which, with the post 9/11 GI bill, I’ll get paid to go to school.”

On his experience working with Friendship Place, Mr. Lee says “You guys rock! And Nisha is the best!”

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Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2023, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for 4,993 people, including 1,507 children in families and 670 veterans. We empowered 167 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.957.7834.

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