One of the 90 veterans DuPagePads served last year, Mitchell struggled with homelessness on and off since 2006. He would utilize DuPagePads Interim (Overnight) Housing sites and work temporary jobs. As a result of an alcohol addiction, poor lifestyle choices and past hurtful behavior, Mitchell lost his family’s contact and support.
“I’ll never forget the day that my DuPagePads case manager arranged a meeting with my children to talk about my future. It was in that moment that I realized that I desperately wanted to change so that I could be the best grandfather I could be,” Mitchell recalls.
After that meeting, Mitchell decided to enter into a 30-day alcohol rehabilitation program. Once he completed the program, Mitchell worked with his DuPagePads case manager on a plan for housing and was able to move into an apartment this fall. Soon after, DuPagePads was able to announce that they had ended chronic homelessness for the veterans they served.
“I knew that to restore my life the way I wanted to that I would not only have to stay sober, but also find a stable career instead of the temporary jobs I had been doing. I always had an interest in welding,” Mitchell shares.
Mitchell began working with DuPagePads Career Employment Solutions program to learn about resources for education courses leading to full-time employment.
As a result of a partnership with Jane Addams Resource Center, Mitchell was able to enroll in their welding certification course this spring. Once this 14-week course is completed, he will have the skills and training to secure a lifelong career and financial stability. Having his own apartment gives Mitchell a nice, quiet place to study for his welding course.
Maintaining sobriety and attending AA meetings as often as possible, Mitchell is now able to help his family by babysitting his two grandsons.
“I know I have made many mistakes in life and honestly maintaining my sobriety is a struggle I deal with every day. However, it makes me feel so proud of my progress when I have the opportunity to spend quality time with my grandkids.
I owe my life and recovery to DuPagePads because of their constant patience and the career opportunities they offered me to start a new life.”