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Michael A. - A Homeless Veteran Success Story

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Michael A. served in the US Navy from March of 1992 to September of 1996 as a Mess Management Specialist. Michael served most of his time at sea, aboard the USS Mississippi. Michael and his wife have faced many struggles in the past as they became homeless due to Hurricane Katrina and moved back and forth from New Orleans to Houston. With jobs in the restaurant business not paying enough and not allowing them to keep up on bills or rent, they decided to make a move. Michael and his wife moved to Oregon in early 2020 from New Orleans; and soon after their arrival, Michael accepted a position as a chef at a local restaurant. Michael was unfortunately laid off shortly after, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they once again found themselves homeless.

Finding the Homelss Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP)

After becoming homeless, Michael and his wife moved into the Salvation Army Veterans and Family Center. Michael was referred to our Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) by his case manager at the Salvation Army, because he was looking for help with training, certifications, writing a resume, interviewing skills and job search assistance, and help with getting an Oregon Food Handler’s Certification. After Michael talked to our staff about the program and discussed his skills, he was ready to get started and put in the work to find stable employment.

Barriers to Overcome

Some of the barriers Michael faced were a lack of stable housing and looking for employers that were hiring at this time since most restaurants were either closed or only providing take-out during the early stages of the pandemic. Our program helped Michael stay positive and kept sending him job opportunities which he enthusiastically applied for. Michael interviewed for many of the positions that were presented to him by our staff, and he ultimately accepted a position with WingStop, where he is currently working as a Prep Cook with a wage of $17.00 hourly. He’s been holding his head high, working hard, and hoping to move into a management position soon.
Michael is excited about his career with this company and thankful to our staff for their help and guidance along the way. Michael was also referred to the Community Action Agency's Supportive Service for Veteran Families (SSVF) program for assistance with attaining stable housing.

In Michael's Own Words

Michael states, “I am so thankful for everything Teresa has done for us. When COVID hit and we didn’t know where to turn, we found Teresa. I applied for lots of jobs but never heard back from them, and Teresa kept on me to get my Food Handlers permit and then was relentless in sending me jobs. Once I got hired, Easterseals HVRP provided me with uniforms and those really helped me feel good about my job as a chef! I love my job I have now and my wife and I are saving to get our own place in the future.”

If you or anyone you know is a US Military Veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, please contact us by clicking here to learn how we can help!

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