Gary lives at Pioneer’s Mark Cooper House, a program for homeless veterans in Seattle. He had been living in Sacramento but his past drug connections were encroaching on his sobriety there and he felt he needed to break clean and start fresh in a new city. He is a member of the Laborers’ International Union of America and found a job in Seattle working the graveyard shift on the highways.
Once he moved into the Mark Cooper House he entered the Roadmap to Success job training workshops where he worked on his resume and cover letter. Gary is a hard worker and very driven but his goal is to get a civil service job that is not as hard on him physically. He likes to keep busy and is trying to stay on the right track.
“I get a lot of support from the Pioneer staff. The case manager set me up with some financial services planner to help me build up my credit score and work with me on setting up my finances. And the instructors at the Roadmap to Success job training workshops have also helped me to write a good resume and cover letter and they really encourage me to apply for different work when I’m ready. They have my back and want me to succeed.”
Originally from Texas, Gary joined the U.S. Navy when he was 20 years old. After he served in the navy he moved to Sacramento where his family had moved. He got involved in drugs and his addiction took over his life. He ended up spending time in prison and upon his release he received help from the Sacramento Veterans Administration and got into the laborers union.
“My recovery is a life time project. It is so important for me to be able to live in a clean and sober facility that is safe and lets me get some sleep. My work is very hard and the Mark Cooper House gives me an environment where I can get support when I need it, and some rest and down time to re-charge each day.”
Recently, Gary had a great reunion with his family who traveled up from Sacramento to visit him. He hadn’t seen them in a few years so it was a happy union in Seattle. “I was pretty excited that my mom, granddaughter and two grown children came up to visit me in Seattle now that I am stable and working. Pioneer gave us free tickets to visit the zoo and that was a great way to spend time with my family. I feel like I have many things to work for and reasons to stay clean now.”