I was raised in Ashland Oregon, graduated in 1983, and joined the United States Army December 9th, 1984. I’ve fought addiction my entire life since the age of 13 and at times in my life chose drugs over my own children, jobs, and even relationships. I came to Operation Rebuild Hope in February 2020- I had recently lost my job and was facing a notice to vacate my house February 1st due to my inability to pay rent and being active in my addiction. This was to be my third bout with homelessness here in Coos County and was my third relapse with drugs since moving to Coos County in 2003. I met Patrick at a barber shop early January 2020. He was talking to the Barber and another gentleman about Bryans Home when I walked in to get my long beard and haircut. Myself being the shy person everyone knows me to be, piped in with “Is that the run-down house across from Ashworth’s I see being remodeled?” Patrick confirmed.
We talked for the entire time before and during his son’s haircut. He asked during the conversation if I was a veteran, which I confirmed. I told him about my upcoming homelessness and current unemployment, and I didn’t have anywhere to go and was planning on living in my vehicle. That’s when he smiled and said, “I got you Brother”. He told me to call him the day I moved out, which I did, and he was able to get me housed in Timberwolves Den that same day. Shortly there after I came to Patrick for help with my addiction. He quickly got me into the White City Veteran Rehabilitation facility where I stayed for 90 days in a 30-day program.
Over time I worked with the case manager for ORH and eventually was moved into Bryan’s Home in February 2021 as ORH’s first client in the Veteran transitional facility and House Manager. I completed the ORH’s program and moved to South Dakota in April 2021.
I recently returned to the area and was certified as a Peer Support Specialist and was then asked to take on the position of Director of ORH Outdoors, which we launched on January 1, 2022. I love helping people especially Veterans and I have made a commitment to myself to repay ORH for saving my life by helping ORH win our fight against Veteran Homelessness and Suicide. I’m thankful beyond measure for ORH, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. To be able to give back to ORH through service and helping Veterans like I was helped is an honor to me and I give myself a constant reminder of where I came from and how I got here every week when doing Outreach, when I meet a veteran that needs our help, Patrick’s words ring past my lips. ” We got you Brother!”