Soft-spoken and intelligent, Samuel* is one of the more than 48,000 U.S. veterans who have ended up homeless after their military discharge.
He served the country bravely but his job as Army meteorologist didn’t translate into a civilian career. The housing bubble had just burst, and the only
job he could find after months of trying was working odd hours at a warehouse.
But that wasn’t enough to keep a roof over his head.
He lived in his car for months.
One night, he parked under a bridge, thinking it was a safe place to be. Instead he was arrested for illegal camping. He spent five nights in jail waiting for his hearing. Although he was released for time served and received a $500 fine, he was fired for not coming into work that week. Samuel couldn’t recover from losing his job and eventually his car.
He was homeless for 10 years.
Without a place to sleep and stay clean, and just a few hours work here and there as a laborer, he lost all hope. Once he used to predict weather, now he was at the mercy of the cold and wind.
“It’s hard to have the confidence when you know your appearance is not the same,” he says.
“You don’t really want to go out and pursue things you dreamed of in the past.”
When Samuel realized he couldn’t solve his homelessness by himself, he reached out for help at the Mission. Because of you, that help was there. He enrolled in our Passport program and began to believe that he could come back again, better than before.
Samuel didn’t want to come to the Mission for help, but when he arrived he realized what a good decision it was.
“At the Mission I’ve been able to get clean clothes. I’ve always had food. I’ve held on to employment. I’m in church every Sunday. I work the desk on the weekends. I’m blessed.”
Samuel worked hard and paid off all his fines and debts. Then he went back to college to retrain for a career as a medical stenographer. He regained his confidence. He has a restored new life because of God’s love . . . a love you poured out by supporting the Mission!