Detric Brown, an Army Veteran currently housed at St. Francis House under the VA Homeless Veterans Program, served his country as a field artilleryman from 1994 through 1996. He was stationed at Fort Still, in Korea, and at Ft. Hood. He is from Altheimer, Arkansas and joined the Army at 19.
After leaving the military, he worked a variety of jobs, including working at a car dealership. Unfortunately, chemical dependency issues eventually left him homeless with a wife and a young son. Realizing he needed to make a drastic change, he checked into Ft. Roots. After his discharge, he, his wife, Latasha, and son, Kwame, came to live at St. Francis House.
“Ft. Roots, the Day Treatment Center and St. Francis House have been a huge help. Ralph (SFH) and Henry (Ft. Roots) believed I could get a job from the start. And Ms. Wilkins (Day Treatment center) even went to Pine Bluff to speak to the Judge about some pending charges and help me get my Driver’s License back. I didn’t have the money to pay for the license and the St. Francis House staff helped me with that.”
Now Mr. Brown has that job. “I’ve been a salesman at Bale Chevrolet for a month now. They have a slogan “It’s better at Bale” and at least for me, it really is. Even knowing my history, my struggles and where I was living, they gave me another chance. After four days, they helped me buy a car and I’m making a good income. I’ve worked with other dealerships in the past and Bale really does treat their employees like family.”
Now that Mr. Brown a steady job, it seems the good things just keep happening. A client at Bale found out Latasha needed dental work. He is a dentist and called the next day to fix her dental problems at no charge. Three-year-old Kwame has begun preschool and Latasha has begun an out-patient program for her chemical dependency struggles. He has an application in an apartment as well. “My goal is to be out and in our own place by Valentine’s Day.”
“St. Francis House has been the best. I’ve gotten to bond with more Veterans, everyone tries to help each other and the staff believe in you. I’ve got 115 days clean and sober, and a true chance for a good life. Kwame is my inspiration. He’s the greatest gift in the world. I want to stay clean for him and make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes I did. St. Francis House is helping me do that.”