Our partnership with Furnishing Hope has not only allowed us to help veterans heal at home, it has introduced us to wounded heroes with deeply inspiring stories. We’re sharing their tales of personal challenges and triumphs in our Furnishing Hope blog post series, so you can learn more about these courageous individuals and the lives they’re leading now.
What follows is an account of Sgt. Alvarez’s experiences before and after Furnishing Hope put together a new home for him.
The last couple of years have been trials and tribulations . . . a little bit of adversity. I was homeless twice. My PTSD and issues I had from my combat experience impacted my school and my work.
I was always trying to conquer and overcome, and I did for a while, but then I would find myself homeless. I was living in my car for almost 8 months and that made my symptoms even worse. I didn’t feel safe. It set off all my red flags.
I felt lost. I was just trying to find my mission and purpose after I got out, but I was struggling to re-acclimate. I know that sounds cliche, but that’s how it’s been.
Luckily, being the tough Marine I am, I could keep on persevering. It was a struggle. I didn’t have any support, and didn’t have the team like I did in the Corps. I was alone, disconnected.
2018 is going to be a better year. I have an apartment, it’s beautifully furnished . . . way beyond what I thought. I’m super grateful. With God on my side and being in a safe community. It’s home. I just graduated from a program at the Aspire Center.
I’m not cured, but I’m better equipped to deal with my symptoms. I have support networks, breathing exercises and therapies. I have my body right and my mind right.
The apartment was the last piece. I just wanted to have a place where I can feel safe, not just a place to lay my head, but a place that is home. Before I had a lot of mix and match things . . . stuff that I found on the street because I couldn’t afford more. I couldn’t afford this, this would take me a long time.
I’m super, super grateful and appreciative, and it makes a big difference. After struggling for so long, all these good things are happening and it’s a little overwhelming.