Some people are born into family, and feel right at home.
But others, like Malcolm H., had been seeking his entire life for a sense of belonging.
He said it was this longing for community that led him to join the U.S. Navy, where he served his country for 10 years. Malcolm traveled around the world serving his country, until the day one of his best friends was killed in a naval training accident.
Depressed, Malcolm turned to drugs and alcohol, and eventually was dismissed from service. From there, Malcolm eventually became homeless, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
After 15 years of living on the streets, depressed and hopeless, Malcolm tried to commit suicide. It wasn’t until he landed in the hospital and was referred to U.S. VETS that Malcolm realized he needed to make a change.
With the help of U.S. VETS and the Social Independent Living Skills (SILS) program, Malcolm was able to turn his life around. He became sober, and was working towards goals he set for himself. He found a sense of belonging again, as he once did in the Navy.
In 2016, Malcolm was accepted into the Master of Social Work program at the California State University, Long Beach.
Stories like Malcom’s aren’t unusual. This Friday, another class of “graduates” into housing, jobs and a more normal life will celebrate their own stories at the facility at Villages at Cabrillo.
According to the U.S. VETS website, of the veterans living in America today, 63,000 are chronically homeless (approximately 20% of the homeless population). U.S. VETS provides…
click here to read more.