By Dayton Warfle, Director of Business Development, Five Star Veterans Center
As a 10-year United States Navy veteran, Paul dealt with both physical and mental pain on a daily basis. After losing his job in 2013 due to a disability acquired during his service, he spent many days secluded in his home, battling severe depression.
During his struggle with pain management and emotional instability, he withdrew from his family, friends and eventually, his wife. Once Paul turned to alcohol for relief, he knew he’d hit rock bottom and contemplating ending his life.
After his marriage ended, Paul moved to Jacksonville looking for a fresh start; however, he did not have income to pay rent and was in deep credit card debt. He tried everything to make money, and even sold his possessions at a pawn shop, but Paul continued to fall short of financial stability.
The day Paul found Five Star Veterans Center, a United Way partner agency, his life was changed forever. Five Star Veterans Center provides displaced military veterans safe housing and supportive services needed to successfully reintegrate into society.
After spotting the Center from the side of the road, Paul completed an interview process and was able to move in just a few days later. Five Star Veterans Center provided him with food, shelter, financial support and mental counseling.
Now, Paul is on the road to recovery.
“I appreciate all the staff at Five Star Veterans Center for their help and support,” Paul said. “Now, I’m out of a depressive state and looking to the future with hope.”
While Paul is nearing the end of his journey at Five Star Veterans Center, he said he never would have been able to get back on his feet without the support from Five Star Veterans. Now that Paul is financially secure and his credit rating has improved, he plans to relocate to North Carolina to work with his brother in December.
With the support of United Way, agencies like Five Star Veterans Center are able to help individuals in Northeast Florida have hope and reach their full potential. Through the power of partnerships, we ensure families and individuals have access to timely health-care services, better health outcomes and fewer health disparities. To learn how you can join United Way in the fight for community change, visit unitedwaynefl.org/get-involved.