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.
The Luke Air Force base crew bought shelves and went to work in organizing, charting and sorting clothing, small appliances, kitchen ware, blankets, pillows and other donations given to help veterans start a life after leaving MANA House. The crew also served meals throughout the day to veterans.
“Clifford,” an Air Force veteran in his mid-70s, was living in Colorado when he found out that his niece in Flagstaff, Ariz. had cancer. She didn’t have much time left, so he moved to spend her last days with her, so she would not be alone.
Clifford transferred his social security benefit to Prescott, Ariz., so he could stay, but when his niece passed away, Clifford had nowhere to go. Clifford’s niece’s health deteriorated so quickly, that Clifford lost her in weeks, and with her gone, he also lost his place to live.
In response to a local housing crisis shortage for affordable housing, Catholic Charities is leasing 28 studio and two one-bedroom apartments from Eureka Apartments in Prescott. These units will be available to low-income individuals experiencing homelessness with a preference for serving veterans in the Prescott community.
Oscar, a soft spoken 55-year-old man, got released from the police department in Flagstaff, Ariz. He went out of the poice department’s front doors into the cold November morning—no one was there to meet him. He didn’t have money or shelter for the night. Originally from the Navajo reservation, now in Flagstaff, he faced homelessness alone.
Deutsch learned about the plight of veterans experiencing homelessness in Arizona and wanted to help. He believes that, “a simple bike can give a person a new found independence, freedom and mobility.” Kid’s Cycles has given two bicycles to Catholic Charities veterans program so far and has agreed to continue to donate bikes in the future.
Laine ran her own lemonade stand to raise money for homeless veterans. She ran a full-service stand. She got her grandmother to bake and package cookies. Her neighbor made the lemonade. She did the promoting. And raised around $100 for homeless veterans.
Peter Fleckenstein was proud to serve our country as a Marine. He was a successful business man until his world fell apart. Eventually he ended up on the streets.
Oscar Martinez is 56 and starting his third career. This time—he’s choosing one that he loves.
“I want to do something I enjoy,” says Martinez. “I worked jobs for the salary all my life and now I’m broke. Now, I want to earn a living doing something that makes me happy.”