June 23 at 6:13pm

Veteran and life-long military supporter finds home with help from Interfaith

IMG_1230Born into a military family, John was raised in San Diego while his father was in the Navy. Following high school graduation, he joined the Air Force in 1971 as a long range ground-based radar repairman and served for 3 years before honorably discharging in 1974 out of Cambria, California. While in central California, post-military life steered John in the way of the construction industry, before he decided to move back to San Diego to start working in the printing business. After several successful years working in lithographics, technology advanced to the point where computers replaced John’s position and he was laid off.

John embraced this time away from work and began taking courses at San Diego City College; during his down time, he also started volunteering at a local veterans center in Downtown San Diego. Because of his ability to connect with the veterans over their shared experiences and perspectives, a colleague soon recommended John for a position at the VA. After spending many years as a clerk assisting doctors and nurses on the hospital floor and also as an administrative assistant, John retired from yet another successful career.

However, following his retirement, life for John began to change in monumental ways. His wife filed for divorce, forcing John out of their home in Imperial Beach. He moved into a close friend’s home for a few years, until his friend passed away unexpectedly from heart issues; with no where to go, John was forced out onto the streets. Packing up what little belongings he had, John moved into the Veterans Village of San Diego Tent in Point Loma, where he was able to stay for a few months while figuring out his next move. While at the tent, John connected with a Program Manager from Interfaith Community Services, who asked if he would be willing to move up to North County into a transitional housing program.

“Interfaith was a lifesaver,” said John. “It helped me immensely at a time I really needed it.”

Moving into a 2-bedroom apartment in Oceanside, John – an admittedly social and outgoing person – quickly became friends with his three roommates and is excelling in Interfaith’s veterans program. He continues to meet with his case manager weekly and with his Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher, is currently looking for his own apartment to move into.

“I just appreciate all that Interfaith does for the veteran community,” said John. “They have been an integral part of my life story.”

For information on how you can help veterans like John get back on their feet and support their journey to self-sufficiency, please click here.