Safe Haven Put Me On the Right Track
Hi, I’m Charles. I want to say as much as I can about Safe Haven and the opportunities that abound here. This program can help all vets to get started again, and has definitely put me on the right track.
I graduated from trade school and worked a factory job until I was drafted and deployed to Vietnam. The army gave me medic training, and I served with a unit for two years treating wounded members of each of the armed forces. Service was intensive—wounded soldiers needed constant care and monitoring. I’d like to think I could have done another tour of service, but I definitely came home with unresolved issues.
For starters, I had trouble sleeping. But after starting night school, marrying, and having a child, I found myself surrounded by the responsibilities of adulthood. I don’t think I was mature enough to be married, and maybe my wife wasn't either. I began abusing alcohol, mainly on the weekends, but I wasn’t really controlling my behavior. After a few years, the family split from me, and the drinking gradually got worse. Staying out to drink became more important than coming home. Soon I was out on the street completely, couch surfing, fed by others, and eventually ended up in a detox.
With the help of some kind folks at the Veterans Administration, I felt comfortable coming to the Safe Haven program at the Boston Rescue Mission. The vets in the house are hilarious, very friendly, and very understanding. Staff members know a lot and want to help out with housing and personal medical issues.
It’s a good thing, too, because I’ve been caught up in radiation treatment for cancer since moving in. Lots of treatment means I’m more sleepy than usual, but today I’m feeling well, walking around more, and keeping my mind and body active. My housing search is in full swing, and I’m confident that I’ll be into my next place soon.
Whoever put Safe Haven together had me in mind, but there’s a message for other vets like me too. Hearing is using a sense, but listening is using a skill. Listen here for the help, and you too will be on the road to recovery.