Our spotlight this week features a 51-year-old Army Veteran. He was happy to share his story but wished to remain anonymous.
Growing Up Old School
This Veteran grew up in Springdale, AR and “found out real early there is nothing in life for free.” At nine years old, he began working with his dad blocking mud on construction sites. He recalls returning to school in the fall as “quite a buff kid.” He credits his country, old-school upbringing for his work- and life-ethic.
Connecting to Home at Last
After losing his home, this Veteran found Home at Last after talking with the local VFW and Springfield VA hospital. Shortly after connecting with the program he had a major health crisis.
In December 2019, he was admitted to Mercy Hospital unconscious. Waking up three days later, he learned that in addition to pneumonia and a lung infection he had suffered a stroke. After spending 10 days in the hospital, he was released to The Kitchen. Inc.’s emergency shelter.
In the emergency shelter, he met case manager Kendall and two staff members of Home at Last: Val and Valerie. They began working with the Veteran to create a housing plan. Home at Last staff helped him find housing options to meet his needs and provided the start-up cost to move in. He moved into his new home on Christmas Eve.
In addition to connecting him with stable housing, staff also referred him to MSU Care, a health clinic for uninsured, low-income adults. The Veteran was able to meet with healthcare providers to begin rehabilitation after his hospital stay and get needed prescriptions. He says, “they took care of me. They definitely helped me out.” With access to care for his physical and mental health, he was able to focus on getting back on his feet.
Connecting to Home at Last
The Veteran left the shelter with his lungs still healing. He began walking a little more each day to build up his lung capacity again. Soon he was able to get around town like he used to and ride his bike.
He found temporary work through a staffing agency, working at a grocery store as a compliance counter during COVID-19. He greeted customers and ensured the store was not over capacity. He was able to become more comfortable in large crowds, using his humor to break the ice and talk to people. This helped him prepare for his new, full-time job as a taxi driver.
Vision for the Future
He likes driving a taxi and is looking forward to his next goal: purchasing his own car. With a roof over his head, access to healthcare, and a steady income, he will be able to maintain stability and pursue his goals without the assistance of Home at Last. He is thankful for the staff, especially his case manager, Patrick, for believing in him and supporting his rehabilitation: “I was going through a physical and mental low point. To have all these people pulling for me was a bonus deal.”
Ways to Help
Your donations allow us to end homelessness for more people in our community.