December 22 at 4:38am

Housing 1,000 in Action: Allen’s Story

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Allen Hawthorne’s struggle with homeless began after his divorce several years ago. “I went from helping the grand kids in my little, tight-knit family,” said Allen,“ to being back on my own again.” With this drastic change to his lifestyle, Allen decided to start fresh last year and moved from Houston to San Diego to be closer to his two kids.

When Allen arrived in Southern California, he was unemployed and homeless. He was referred to Interfaith by a fellow nonprofit who mentioned Interfaith’s programs and services geared towards veterans.  Within days of meeting with a case manager, he was placed in Interfaith’s transitional housing program in Oceanside and began to rebuild his life.

Allen had been working with Interfaith for four months when he received word that his father in Illinois had passed away. This news brought new distress to Allen’s life, particularly because he couldn’t afford to attend the out-of-state funeral. Seeing his disappointment, Allen’s Interfaith case manager connected him with a local church that was able to raise enough money for Allen to purchase an airline ticket to Illinois to attend the funeral.  “This was one of the kindest acts I had ever experienced in real life,” said Allen. “The churches generosity and  quick work by my case manager will be something I remember forever.”

Allen lived in Interfaith’s transitional housing for veterans for eleven months, all the while meeting weekly with his case manager and attending life skills classes. During a life skills class, Allen was connected to one of Interfaith’s community partners, Father Joe’s Villages, and discovered that he was eligible to be placed in one of their permanent housing options. Allen was ecstatic – the rental assistance Father Joe’s offered would allow him to live in a studio apartment in the Mountain View neighborhood, right down the way from his two children.

Allen has been enjoying his new life in his new home since early November and has been dedicated his time to two facets of his life: growing his career as a professional driver for local car dealerships, and developing a stronger relationship with his kids. Allen says that he could never have made it to where he is today without Interfaith. Through his hard work and initiative,Allen is now living a life he is proud to lead.

To learn more about how Interfaith supports the veteran community through the Housing 1000 campaign, please contact Robert Adams, Chief Development Officer, at radams@interfaithservices.org or by calling (760) 489-6380 ext. 206.