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.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

US Navy Veteran Goes from Homeless to Homeowner

With a father from the United States and a mother from Great Britain, Michael was born and raised in England. But as a young man, he joined the U.S. Navy, and served as the cook on the USS Midway for four years. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Petty Officer Third Class.

He moved to Arizona, and served a year in the Arizona U.S. Army National Guard. He was a contented Arizona resident, a proud veteran, a constructive citizen, for 17 years. He was enjoying his work at Goodwill in Prescott, helping folks in need. But then came some medical issues, and an on-the-job injury. Michael was placed on full disability.

He moved into a mobile home. For a year and a half, life was steady. Then, in February, a huge snowstorm struck Prescott. Suddenly, Michael couldn’t get water in his trailer. Soon, the electricity flickered out. Then, he found he didn’t have any heat either. He complained to the trailer park owners, but they kept putting him off. Then days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months and still Michael had no water, no electricity, and no heat.

In desperation, he came to us at Catholic Charities for food. Our food boxes kept him going. But, he never mentioned his other problems — until one day, our longtime staffer, Rocky Coronado, asked Michael how he was doing. Michael was so exhausted from trying to make it through each day that he finally shared his story with Rocky. When Rocky made the comment that he was homeless, Michael was puzzled. “I’ve got a roof over my head,” he replied. But with no utilities, he was indeed technically homeless.

The team from Veterans Services stepped in to help. Alex Kennedy, Michael’s caseworker, was thrilled to be able to assist him. He helped Michael move into a new trailer with working utilities. And even better, Michael now OWNS his home. Alex also helped him get his new home stocked with knives and forks, bedding, pots and pans, everything he needed to start life over.

Michael is still astonished by the care he received from Catholic Charities. “I didn’t want to complain,” he says. “I didn’t think it was a matter to even approach Catholic Charities with.... It was ‘my mess’ — and I stewed in it alone — until I bumped into Rocky that day. That’s when everything completely changed!”

Catholic Charities Veterans Services assists veterans and their families in Northern Arizona who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. For more information, visit us at

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