Jesse’s Story

Jesse at HVAF
Jesse’s approach to life is simple; keep moving. The 52-year-old Air Force veteran says he started drinking heavily after his marriage ended and without a job or income he became homeless but his spirits remained high. “Where there seems to be no way, I will knock a domino down and make a bridge,” says Jesse who reflects on his love of playing dominoes.  In 2013, Jesse stayed in a day shelter where he would begin each day inside the Indianapolis Public Library using a computer to look for available resources offered to veterans. It was then he learned about HVAF and its services for veterans. HVAF provided Jesse with supportive housing, case management and help with his recovery through its Residential Employment Substance Abuse Treatment (REST) program. Last month, Jesse graduated from the recovery program. Jesse says he’s building greater confidence at HVAF and bonding with other veterans who are in similar situations. With HVAF’s guidance, Jesse was referred to the IU School of Dentistry and provided dental service and in 2015 he hopes to receive dentures. HVAF also has helped Jesse qualify for free eye glasses through the Indianapolis Eye Care Clinic. He is an avid runner with Back on My Feet, a national organization that helps promote self-sufficiency through running. These days, Jesse has some pep in his step and there’s a good reason why. He is employed full-time at Methodist Hospital and plans to go back to school. In his mind, dominoes are the perfect building blocks to keep moving in life.