Finding the support and hope to thrive

Randy, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Randy has always been a hard worker. Growing up in Kentucky, he worked at a tree removal company and set his sights on joining the military.

“It was always a childhood dream of mine to see the world and serve my country.”

After his time in the military, Randy went to work as a self-employed contractor and kept himself busy working with his hands.

“I had some pretty big paying jobs over the years,” Randy shared. “I always paid my bills on time, had a very nice house, and multiple vehicles.”

But nearly two years ago, Randy lost everything. The pandemic had just struck the nation – shutting down local restaurants, businesses, and the world as we knew it. The effects of the pandemic were widespread and impacted everyone in different ways.

For Randy, the pandemic meant he lost his job, his home, and his vehicles. He found himself hopeless and alone, living on the street. Randy had never been homeless before.

“When the pandemic hit, I found myself at a low point.”

Devastated by the situation he found himself in, Randy spent what little money he had on alcohol.

Randy continued to look for employment, but the pandemic made finding subcontractor work increasingly difficult. When he couldn’t find anything else to pick his spirits up, he found alcohol to be his only answer.

“You know, when you don’t have a job or a home, and 9 months with nothing to do, getting addicted to alcohol is easy.”

Randy said little by little he felt the alcohol start to take hold of him, until it became too much. He ended up in the hospital, and that’s when he made the decision to ask for help.

“No one can tell you that you need help. It won’t work that way. You have to decide for yourself.”

After asking for help, Randy was connected with a Veterans Resource Center at Volunteers of America where he was given a safe place to stay and counseling to recover from his alcohol addiction.

“They really give you the time and space to help yourself heal,” Randy shared. During his stay, Randy also felt comfort being around other veterans with whom he could relate.

Determined to get his life back on track, Randy took part in all of the services that were offered to him. He went to group meetings with other residents who were struggling with addiction. He met with his caseworker one-on-one to get advice personalized for him on how to map out a plan for employment, finding a place to live, and lifelong sobriety.

“I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for them. They give you the tools you need to get better, and it’s up to you to use them. They can’t do it all for you, but they’re there for you.”

Today, Randy has control over his life again. He’s sober, has an apartment of his own, and is back to work. Because of you, Randy has found the support and hope he needed to thrive. Thank you.

“I’ve found hope here.”

I want to help veterans like Randy find the support and hope needed to thrive.