Lester, a veteran of the army, found a job and shelter to tackle homelessness.
Lester was a homeless veteran living on the streets. But since he has found shelter at Brandon Hall and a job at the VA hospital.
After being homeless since 2007, lacking a steady job since 2009, and lucking out during the 2013-14 winter, Lester realized that he needed something better. He served in the army from 1981-85 and had previous jobs in transportation and usually worked for tow truck companies. However, after having a few problems at work he fell out of employment and lived in a shack on some land that his brother owned with a bike and a kerosene heater. But after last year's winter, he decided that he didn't want to risk his safety again.
He went to the VA for a recommendation, and they told him that Brandon Hall (our residential facility in Indianapolis) would be a good option. So in November 2014 he moved in. Lester was nervous about his situation since he was homeless for seven years without a lot of job experience and a felony on his record. But he was glad to find help.
Thankfully there were many resources provided by Volunteers of America of Indiana that he took advantage of. He gained contact information, employment resources, and his case manager Ms. Morris. He always appreciated her moral support and reminders to keep him on task. Ms. Morris also got him into the Grant Per Diem program which allows him to stay for two years.
"This could be a legitimate springboard to get me into something stable. If I don't find a job out of here then that's my own fault. It's a good program with good opportunities. VOA offers hope, no doubt."
Lester is currently working 24 hours a week as a supply runner at the VA hospital for TWE Industries. He is excited about this position since there is a chance it may become a permanent position. But just in case he continues to look for something more stable.
Brandon Hall also provides a social environment that he didn't previously have access to. Since he basically spent the last eight years alone with only his brother to talk to on occasion, becoming a part of housing community proves to be beneficial. Lester has gained more consideration for other people and is able to see other people's problems and not just his own.
He would definitely recommend VOA to other homeless veterans. Optimistic about his future and his next year and a half at Brandon Hall, he stated, “This could be a legitimate springboard to get me into something stable. If I don't find a job out of here then that's my own fault. It's a good program with good opportunities. VOA offers hope, no doubt."
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