Navy Vet Finds New Career

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Navy Vet Finds New Career © Robert Gerhardt | Dreamstime

Jessie Grissom was excited to leave Georgia for a job in the West. He had been promised a job near the Grand Canyon but when he arrived, the job had been given to another.

Alone, Jessie hitched a ride to Flagstaff. He didn’t have a place to live or a support system. He knew he needed help and found Catholic Charities.

Jessie arrived just after 5 p.m. as Rick Brust, homeless outreach manager, was locking up for the night. Brust talked to Jessie for a while and learned about his situation. He also learned that Jessie was a U.S. Navy veteran.

Brust found a place for Jessie to stay for the weekend and told him about Catholic Charities veteran’s services. He told him to expect to hear from William Lowe, veteran services case manager, on Monday.

Immediate Assistance

“I was able to make contact with Jessie quickly and enroll him in our program,” said Lowe. “He stayed briefly at the men’s shelter and then we placed him in a studio apartment just walking distance to the Catholic Charities office in Flagstaff.”

Catholic Charities was able to provide food while Jessie’s benefits were being approved by U.S. Veterans Affairs.

Catholic Charities purchased a new bed, bed frame and all bedding to make sure Jessie had a comfortable place to sleep. He was also supplied with hygiene items, toiletries and house cleaning supplies. A local thrift store made a very generous donation and supplied all of this kitchen items.

Providing for the Future

Jessie was looking for work when Lowe recommended a local training program. Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona had a partnership with Coconino County Community College that Jessie enrolled in and completed.

As a certified maintenance technician, Jessie is nationally certified in all area of maintenance. This certification will allow him to find work anywhere in the country. “We used Catholic Charities Veterans Services funds to purchase all of the tools recommended upon his graduation,” said Lowe.

Jessie immediately started applying for jobs and was offered an entry level position for $13 per hour.

Helping Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

Catholic Charities is committed to providing permanent solutions to individuals in need. “The skills and tools we gave Jessie will take him anywhere he needs to go,” said Lowe.

You can help veterans like Jessie by supporting Catholic Charities Veteran Services. Veterans and their families can get help through permanent housing and a variety of services and resources. 

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More in this category: « On the Brink of Homelessness

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