“I’ll tell you one thing—the Samaritan House received me with open arms. I don’t know what they saw in me. All the personnel had a smile on their face and wanted to help. I came to their veteran’s program to get out of homelessness. What I have now is because of them.
“At 17, I entered the U.S. Army then later joined the National Guard. I served in places like Germany and Italy. I got injured twice. Once I fell off a tanker and injured my hip; another time I fell and had a head injury. I left to work for a railroad company—started out with a sledgehammer in my hand and worked my way to foreman. I had a good life. I had a wonderful family—a wife and two kids. I got reinjured on the job and they offered me $150,000. Unfortunately, with that money came friends … and drugs. I had to leave my wife and family. I didn’t want her to go down with me.
“For 20 some years, I was homeless. I’ve drifted through some 40 states in this country. I used cocaine, crack then meth. I was hooked on heroine. I just got locked into drugs. What made me stop was my three beautiful granddaughters. They saw me panhandling one day on the streets in Texas, where I’m from. I was so ashamed and one day I just said, ‘This is it. I got to go.’ I bought a bus ticket and came to Denver with $200. I love Denver—it’s one of the special places in my heart.
“God has been so good. I was in a homeless shelter and someone told me I was in the wrong place. There’s better help at Samaritan House. If you’re willing to do your part, they’ll help you. I was there for 9 months. They helped me find housing and with the VA helped me find my beautiful apartment. I’m now clean and managing my depression. I want to go back to Samaritan House to volunteer. I give my gratitude to them.”