Mike Beckley greets everyone he meets with a heartfelt “Hello” and a shy smile. An Airforce Veteran and one of eleven children, he’s no stranger to hard work. In fact, it was hard to catch him long enough for a chat since he always seems to be on his way to work!
Mike enlisted in the Airforce in 1977 and served in communications until he left the service in 1983. He married in 1986 and has two children. The marriage later dissolved, primarily due to problems with alcohol. “I’ve had a drinking problem since I was nineteen though I didn’t realize it. For a long time I was still drinking and doing dumb stuff on weekends. Acting like a kid even though I wasn’t.”
After a variety of jobs in different places, Mike was working as a bus driver when an accident caused him to resign. His younger brother intervened when Mike became homeless, providing a place to stay and immediate family connection. He lost both parents soon after. Before his father died, Mike made him a promise to stop drinking. “I think the thing I’m proudest of is that I’ve been sober seven years now.”
Mike came to Little Rock after applying for a job at Fort Roots. When he didn’t get the position, he contacted the Veterans Day Treatment Center, and they referred him to St. Francis House. Today he is employed at US Pizza and is saving for his own place to live. He plans to continue working and hopes to get his computer certification so he can get back into communications. When asked what he would tell veterans about St. Francis House, he replied “Get over here and get your stuff together. This is the place to be to do that.” It’s obvious to us that Mike is doing just that with a great attitude and lots of hard work! We’re proud of you, Mike!