Catholic Charities Veteran Services helps veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness find stable housing and provides ongoing case management that includes financial planning, assistance applying for VA benefits, emergency assistance and more.

Wednesday, 07 November 2018

After Stroke, Army Veteran Regains Independence

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Kenneth outside of MANA House Kenneth outside of MANA House

Kenneth is grateful for the life he has. Serving twelve years in the United States Army allowed Kenneth to travel to many amazing places. He loved Europe — Spain and Paris are favorites. He also traveled other places and even spent some time in Kuwait.

As a combat medic, Kenneth was trained in medicine and spent years working in hospitals as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) after his time in the service. Though he worked in emergency departments, he didn’t want to stay in that field. “When you work in emergencies, eventually you have to detach yourself to continue. After about 4 or 5 years, it starts to get to you,” said Kenneth.

He decided to pursue a career in technology and worked for a company creating microchips for over a decade. Ready for a change of pace, Kenneth went to work for a security company.

Medical Emergency Changes Everything

His world changed in December 2017 when, at the age of 59, he had a stroke. “The doctors had to drill three different holes in my skull to get fluid off my brain,” said Kenneth.

Kenneth had a long recovery ahead of him. He could no longer live on his own or work to support himself. He stayed with family members, but it wasn’t a long term solution. A social worker from the Veterans Administration (VA) looked for a better environment for Kenneth where he could recover from the stroke and found MANA House.

A Safe Place to Heal

At MANA House, veterans make an action plan and work toward independence. In Kenneth’s case, that meant he had to focus on his physical recovery. He spent long hours of physical therapy and speech therapy through the VA to overcome the debilitating effects of his stroke.

Kenneth is thankful for MANA House because it provided a safe place to recover. Since he is unable to work, Kenneth became the unofficial greeter, and would often sit in front of MANA House to welcome guests and connect with fellow veterans.

“When you are on active duty in the military, you serve with people from all over the world, and you are up close and personal with people. It’s different at MANA House, the residents are from all over, but we get really close. You get to hear a lot of stories and learn from different people. I’m grateful for my time here,” said Kenneth.

Kenneth’s doctors have told him it isn’t likely that he will ever get back to 100%. But despite their predictions, he is doing much better. He has improved so much that he is now moving out of the MANA House into his own apartment in south Phoenix. He is looking forward to everything life has to offer.

Learn more about MANA House and how you can support veterans experiencing homelessness.

Catholic Charities is committed to helping veterans experiencing homelessness in Central and Northern Arizona. To join the No Longer Homeless campaign and support our Veterans, please contact a member of our Philanthropy Team at 602-650-4820 or email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, please visit our website.


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