Meet a Veteran: Albert
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served his country for four years, Albert R. entered the U.S.VETS – Prescott HVRP in August 2015, after living in the forest for over a year. He had found himself at a dead end, and endured this living situation out of fear. At the time, he was jobless, hopeless and plagued by legal issues and addiction.
Desperate, Albert kept searching for a way out of the vicious cycle of homelessness in which he was ensnared. That’s when he found himself at the DES Job Connection looking for work. Instead, he found hope. Someone at the center told Albert about U.S.VETS – Prescott, a place where he could find shelter and a real fighting chance.
U.S.VETS first began to help Albert by determining that he did not have any warrants to be worried about, and developed a plan to best address his criminal issues, should they come up with prospective employers.
The U.S.VETS workforce development team then helped him to complete a functional resume and discussed strategies for job interviews. Albert did have some past experience as a kitchen manager in the food service industry. Because of past substance abuse and arrests, Albert was no longer lawfully permitted to drive. Undeterred, he took several copies of his resume and went out on foot to visit several of the local restaurants in Prescott.
He met with a couple of managers during his search and his efforts paid off when he received two tentative job offers. Albert said that his decision to be honest about his past and to make the extra effort to go out and sell himself made all the difference. He says that determination is something that he been instilled in him by U.S.VETS.
Albert ended up choosing a kitchen manager position with The Raven restaurant in downtown Prescott, where he’s still gainfully employed. HVRP assisted him with supportive services to purchase all of the necessary uniforms and footwear he needed to start the position. They also continued to meet with Albert after he began the job, to assist him with maintaining the job and his sobriety, and always encouraging him to seek out and commit to a recovery program.
Albert has said that if it wasn’t for U.S.VETS and the HVRP program, he would not be here today. He had reached the end of his rope when he decided to contact U.S.VETS. It was his last hope, and it is what saved his life.
Albert has been working at The Raven for seven months and has become a successful kitchen manager in their organization. What does he like about the job? “It’s being a part of a community, being self-sufficient and bringing people joy,” he said.
Albert moved out of transitional housing a few months after landing this job, and is currently in our permanent housing program, working towards full independence again. Albert is all about transition these days.
His rock bottom, he says, was “a dark place with no hope. U.S.VETS – Prescott… gave me a life and the will to live it. I was homeless, jobless, had mounting legal problems and was suffering from alcoholism. With all that, U.S.VETS – Prescott saw what I couldn’t at the time. They believed in me and brought me out of the dark forest into the light.”