Did you know that U.S. war veterans are 50% more likely to become homeless? Getting re-introduced into society after experiencing the traumas of conflict can lead to significant risk factors such as severe anxiety, trouble re-connecting with family and friends and drug use.
Craig, a Navy veteran who served aboard the USS Forrestal, unfortunately fell into this all-too-common trap when he returned home from the Gulf War. Suffering from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder his relationships became strained.
“When I came back, I went through a difficult time. I experienced separation from my family,” says Craig.
That’s when he started using substances to help take the pain away.
“I started using substances to cope,” he says. “The funny thing is, when you start (using drugs) you don’t really think about how it’s going to end.”
Craig lacked the proper support network like so many veterans who are cast aside. When he arrived at Holy Cross’ New Hope Community Center, he described himself as a “lost soul.” Thanks to the support and counseling offered at New Hope, Craig put a stop to his personal tailspin and got back on his feet.
Craig is just one of over 6,000 people every year who depend on New Hope. The Center provides programs and services to veterans, adults and families experiencing homelessness who have nowhere else to turn.
For the first time in a long time, Craig is now on stable ground and optimistic about the future thanks to New Hope.
“I’m truly honored to be here at Holy Cross and they serve so many people and do so many wonderful things. They change lives.”
Learn more about the New Hope Community Center.