Albert a 60+ year old veteran had been homeless for most of his life after the Vietnam War. Coming from a small town where he had a history of legal and justice system involvement as well as alcohol issues severely limited his housing options and perpetuated his homelessness. His criminal history, untreated substance-abuse and failing health led him to disengage from all support systems, including family. Disengagement hardened into distrust and led to an overall unfamiliarity of resources including resources offered specifically to veterans. The distrust contributed greatly to his prolonged homelessness.
In providing him with a warm meal, and shelter from the cold, our volunteers were able to earn his trust
Despite decades of living on the streets and uninhabitable dwellings, Rising Up reached out to try and earn the Veteran’s trust. He came to the Warming Center with some serious health concerns, that were not going to get any better because of his housing instability. In providing him with a warm meal, and shelter from the cold, our volunteers were able to earn his trust. Once this trust was established, we were able to persuade and assist Albert in getting medical treatment and mental health services to help get him off the streets. Our advocate volunteer accompanied him to the local emergency room for treatment of his health issues, and from there, he was placed in a rehabilitation facility so that he could work on regaining strength and recovering.
After going to the rehabilitation facility, Albert connected with other area agencies and services that have helped him work through his health and homeless issues. Albert, the once distrustful Veteran was surprised by all of the help that came his way, and that people actually took the time to care about his story. While he was staying at the Warming Center, Albert started attending church, and since then has become a member of the local church, where he attends both services every Sunday. He has found semi-permanent housing in an assisted living facility connected with the rehabilitation facility he was originally sent to. At the assisted living facility, Albert has become an integral member of their community. He helps with landscaping and gardening projects and is a regular assistant in the kitchen. His newfound confidence and trust has helped him to rejoin the community and become a great advocate for Rising Up. We are glad to get to visit with him regularly and keep up-to-date with his amazing progress!