Starting Over Is A Process

Jerry Saunders is nothing if not determined. He served in the Army from 1979-1983 and upon leaving the military he had a good life as truck driver for over twenty years.
In late 2012 he got into an accident, losing both his job and his driver’s license. Once his unemployment benefits ended, he also lost his home. “From there, it seemed like everything hit. I was depressed and ended up homeless for five years. I was living in my truck and during that time I lost all the paperwork for all my benefits. I was at the end of my rope; I had no more internal resources. I called the Crisis Hotline and they referred me to the Veterans Day Treatment. The very next day, one of the social workers, Ms. Cole, came to see me. We filled out all the paper work and she got me into St. Francis House.”
Jerry came to St. Francis house in December 2016 and completed the program in July 2018. He found a place to live, was able to pay his deposits, but had not yet found a job. That was when it became clear that starting over is a process. He got behind on his electric bill and his service was disconnected. This time, he didn’t wait. He contacted St. Francis House Supportive Services for Veterans and Families and came back to St. Francis House as part of the Bridge program. He has paid the bill and is now working towards paying the reconnect fee. He is also getting his application in for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program) and other benefits so that he is more prepared when he moves back into his own place. “Between the Re-Entry program and the Bridge program, St. Francis House has really helped me out.”