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Kevin's Journey - A Veteran Success Story

Introduction

Spend just two minutes talking to Kevin, and you’ll be moved by his intellect, by his profound love for his wife and 6-year-old son, and by his years of service as a soldier for the U.S. Army in Bosnia, Kuwait, and around the world. Kevin truly is a force to be reckoned with. That’s why learning about the hell he and his family have lived through will completely shock you, even if you’ve heard 1,001 stories before about Veterans and what they often face when they come home.

Months of Homelessness

What Veterans often face is a plethora of complicated emotions and questions. In Kevin’s case, the uncertainty caused by the pandemic put his anxiety from military service over the edge, leading him to quit his job, give up their home, sell everything, and end up living in their car, camping throughout Oregon.
It wasn’t until his 6-year-old son looked up at him one day this past June and said, “Dad, I’m tired of camping. When can we get a home?” that Kevin realized he had to do something to get help.

The Turning Point

While talking to a veteran in a campground near Medford, Kevin learned about the programs Easterseals Oregon offers to Veterans who are looking for help getting housed and back into the workforce. He visited our center in Medford and got himeself enrolled. He was immediately connected to an Easterseals Oregon case manager, who set Kevin and his family up with vouchers to live in a clean, safe motel nearby -- not just for one night or one week, but for however ever long it took to help him secure a job and enough income to rent an apartment.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, Kevin and his family also received emergency food kits and COVID-19 safety kits. With housing and food secured for himself and his family, Kevin could now focus on finding work; but before evening looking for a job, Kevin's case manager insisted that they take the time to understand what jobs would be most interesting and satisfying to him, and take time to address the issues that were haunting him and preventing him from taking a job and living in one place. After many assessments and counseling sessions, they determined that the best jobs for him would be those that allow him to work with and help people all day long, instead of being alone at a computer all day or working in sales or business.

The Journey to Employment and Housing Ends

For weeks, Kevin's case manager worked with him to provide professional and emotional support through the inevitably stressful job-hunting process, where Kevin would often need reassurance and coaching to mitigate his anxiety or whatever other issues came forward.
On July 20, 2020, Kevin was hired by Providence Medical Center, in a full-time position working directly with patients. It’s a job he loves – a job that challenges his intellect and fulfills his need to give back -- and that includes excellent health insurance and other substantial benefits and stability for his family. On August 25, 2020, the family moved into their own home – an apartment in their dream location of Ashland, Oregon. Kevin’s son is happily enrolled in school there in Ashland, where he and his mom are enjoying their new home and life with their dad.

Conclusion/Thanks

Success stories like this one are made possible by supporters and donors like yourself, so we would like to extend our most genuine gratitude to you.
Thanks to your compassion and generosity toward Easterseals Oregon, this wonderful young father and dedicated Veteran received the deep, humane, non-judgmental, unhurried support that was needed to help unearth what had been holding him back as well as what he needed to address and do to move  forward and to take care of his family, for life. What an enormous and invaluable gift. Thank you.
We're so proud of you and excited for you and your family, Kevin!

To learn more about the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP - employment assistance for homeless Veterans), click here.

To learn more about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF - housing assistance for homeless Veterans), click here.

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