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MACV Helps Get Veteran And Her Family Permanent Home: 'I Was Helped, So I'll Help'

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- For Malcalisha Jefferson, there is nothing better than cooking for her family in her own kitchen.

After lots of hard work, and help from MACV, she finally has a place to call home.

WCCO met Malcalisha last year. The Army veteran served 12 years and two deployments, in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

She moved to Minnesota to be closer to family, but that's when things fell apart. She reached out to MACV for help. They put her and her children -- Jasreal, Mariah, Isaac and Aries -- in a hotel, where they all lived for two months in one room.

Eventually, Malcalisha and company were moved into transitional housing -- a four bedroom, new build in St. Paul. It was here she took time to breath and work with a case manager on a plan to get her and her family a place of their own.

Fast forward 10 months, and this family is finally home for the holidays.

"The kids love the school district, I love the neighborhood," Malcalisha said. "They're good now. They have new friends and everything is smooth."

Malcalisha Jefferson - MACV
Malcalisha Jefferson (credit: CBS)

A smooth transition to permanent living, thanks to MACV.

"Even after going to the permanent housing, I still have people that I can call," she said.

Malcalisha says MACV is a constant source of support – something she and her family are grateful for.

Now that things are looking up, she is excited to help others veterans find refuge from homelessness.

"I was helped, so I'll help," Malcalisha said. "It's a never-ending cycle. Once somebody's helped, then they, you know, give the same in return."

While the number of women in military service continues to rise, so does the need to help those impacted by homelessness. Right now, only 11% of those helped by MACV are women. The organization believes there are still more female veterans they need to connect with.

You can make a difference in the life of a homeless vet right now via MACV. A donation of $50 provides clothes for a job interview, and $85 will give a veteran a place to stay for a night.

To give, just text MACV-ORG to 44321, or click here.

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