Army Veteran Earl Hance served his country from 1978 to 1993. Mr. Hance says he “grew up all over”. “My father was in construction so we followed the jobs, but mainly I grew up in Arkansas. I joined the Army on a delayed entry program so I did boot camp between my junior and senior years. I was an armored tank crewman. I figured if it was good enough for Elvis, it was good enough for me.” Mr. Hance served in Fort Letterhead, Missouri, did two tours in Germany, and then at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
After leaving the Army, he was an owner/operator truck driver until an accident resulted in losing his insurance and his truck and left him with multiple health issues. His partner had health issues as well and Mr. Hance acted as her full-time caregiver until she passed away.
“I still had health issues and couldn’t find a job so I ended up unsheltered. I lived in a tent and got meals and other services from Conway Ministry Center. I can’t say enough good about them. They have a weekly food pantry, help with IDs, you can charge your devices and all sorts of services. And as it was coming in the fall, I talked to them about finding housing. That’s how I ended up in Little Rock and here at St. Francis House.”
Mr. Hance is working with St. Francis House staff and Conway Ministry Center staff to find permanent housing through the HUD/VASH program. He has a disability claim (SSD) pending and a VA claim resulting from a PTSD diagnosis. He is also looking at eligibility for early retirement if those claims are denied. He hopes to move back to Conway. “I’d like to help out at the Center and maybe find a part-time job if possible.”