Mack wants to give back after getting help at the Methadone Clinic

“Mack”- a 58-year-old non-combat Viet Nam era veteran, was referred to me by a counselor at the Methadone Clinic. Mack was diagnosed with panic disorder with agoraphobia, and was currently on meds for the disorder. When I met Mack in October 2010 he was living in his car, and had been homeless off and on for more than 20 years. Most of his time off the streets was prison time. Mack had a great desire to turn his life around, and made every appointment on time. He would show up with a great attitude, and hopefulness. Even though the news was discouraging he continued on. We had gotten denials from transitional housing, many subsidized programs, and VA treatment facilities. We would often begin our meetings discussing how things were difficult, but if we stayed committed we eventually would get there. We were working on his denied claim with Social Security, NA groups, and most importantly housing. Soon weeks turned into months and we were still struggling to find housing, but had made progress on his Social Security claim and had gotten necessary surgeries performed at the VA. Luckily, one day we received a call from one of our local HUD-VASH caseworkers. It turned out that Mack was selected for a voucher that was not able to be filled by another vet. Within a week he had moved into Opal Cliffs, and shortly after found permanent housing off of Drive in Capitola. Now when I see Mack he tells me stories about how fortunate he is, and how having a home has changed his life in countless ways. He is currently looking at ways he can give back to the community.

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