Billy: A Veteran Story

ImageBilly is a New Orleans native who joined the Navy at age 18. After serving three years in the Navy working as a store-keeper, he was honorably discharged and returned home to New Orleans. Billy did not have many career options after returning home, but decided to start school at Delgado Community College. Not long after returning home, he began abusing drugs, dropped out of school and started working odd jobs to stay afloat. His uncontrolled lifestyle eventually led Billy to become incarcerated.

After serving time in prison, Billy returned home and began working at a restaurant in the French Quarter. One evening while at work he was injured. This injury requited surgery and he would be out of work for a while. After recovering, he was unable to find work. This stressful time caused Billy to become depressed, start using drugs again and eventually led to him becoming homeless. Billy felt as though he had truly hit rock bottom. He wanted to change his life, but was not sure how. A homeless shelter he frequented learned that he was a Navy veteran and recommended Volunteers of America as a place where veterans could receive support to rebuild their lives.

With the assistance of the VA, Billy became sober and qualified for the Volunteers of America Veterans Transitional Housing Program. In June of 2012, Billy moved into the Veterans Transitional Housing Facility, which provides housing, job training and supportive services to male veterans. Billy was determined to change his life and took full advantage of the many support services Volunteers of America provides. He maintained his sobriety and was focused on finding a job. With the support of his case manager, Chris Randall, Billy participated in the Work Readiness Program and was relentless in sending out his resume and attending job fairs.

When Chris offered to take Billy to a job fair for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, Billy was eager to attend. During an icebreaker session at the job fair, Billy blew everyone away with a short speech about his past and his goals for the future. Recruiters could tell he was motivated and one manager was so touched by Billy that he asked Billy to interview on the spot for a position in their shipping/receiving department. Billy excelled in the interview and was offered the job a few days later.  

After accepting the job with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Billy moved to Baton Rouge and is thriving. He now has a great job, his own place to live, and his life back. Volunteers of America is incredibly proud of him. The Veterans Transitional Facility provided Billy with the support and stability Billy needed to succeed.

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