Cyber Crime Survivor
“VOA Texas provided me with a foundation of hope during the most hopeless point of my life.”Shawnda Hibbeler
Cyber crime is something most Americans have only heard about. To Shawnda Hibbeler, however, an almost unbelievable series of cyber crimes left her and her daughter homeless, hopeless and without a penny to her name.
“Literally overnight, my life was completely turned upside down, destroyed and stolen from us,” she said, citing internet-enabled financial theft, identity theft, internet fraud and abuse. “I lost all of my money, credit cards, job, house, car, belongings—absolutely everything. I was scared to death with nowhere to go and in desperate need of help.”
The U.S. Army veteran called every veteran resource, support and service program she knew about. After making more calls than she could count, she was referred to Volunteers of America Texas, a welcome, life-changing connection through the agency’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. “I was finally given the referral of a lifetime,” Shawnda said.
The VOA Texas team, Darryl Harper, Migueluis and Susan King understood Shawnda’s situation, right down to her raising a child with disabilities. They immediately began providing the supportive services Shawnda needed to get her life back. Within two weeks, she and her daughter were in an apartment, fully furnished by Houston Furniture Bank thanks to VOA Texas, and fully decorated and designed by the D.I.V.A.S, another VOA Texas resource.
“We went from being homeless to having a beautifully decorated, comfy home,” Shawnda said. “A week later, I took the first job I could find, which happened to be the lowest paying job I’d ever had.” She saw the job for what it was—a stopgap measure on her way back to being the determined, driven, and hardworking single mom she used to be.
And it did happen.
“The job search was an arduous, lengthy and frustrating journey,” she said, “but with determination, patience, persistency and the unwavering support from VOA Texas, I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you that I landed the best job ever, in a leadership/management role for one of the fastest growing hi-tech companies.”
Shawnda is quick to add that this would not have been possible without the support of VOA Texas. The organization, she said, “provided me with a foundation of hope during the most hopeless point of my life. They were unbelievably committed and dedicated to helping me rebuild my life and reach my full potential. And here I am! I’m back!
“I can honestly say this would not have happened without all their support,” Shawnda said. “VOA Texas is dedicated to helping the vulnerable reach their full potential. Mission accomplished!”