Phoenix, AZ

The compassion of Phoenix's Catholic Charities NAMA House saves a Navy Veteran

Victoria Nogales

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PHOENIX, AZ - Navy Veteran Will found hope in life after getting help from Phoenix's Catholic Charities Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force - MANA House. The former COO was repeatedly homeless, despite achieving success after his military service ended.

“I was so exhausted. I could not go on. I had a nervous breakdown,” Will said.

When Will was young, he dropped out of high school to serve the country in the Navy. Young Will received his GED shortly after finishing his service, and then continued his higher education and completed two degrees. After college, Will returned to Phoenix and worked for various businesses, such as the food industries, real estate, until eventually, he found himself working in a mental health facility. He was working passionately for 11 years there and that got him the position of being the COO.

Though everything seemed fine, life started crumbling down on him as he got burnt out and one day, Will found himself living on the streets. “I was homeless, I had my own basket with everything I owned. The irony was, I was homeless only a few miles away from where I had graduated. It doesn’t seem right that a college graduate could become homeless.”

He lived on the streets for 4 years before he got sick one day that he crawled to the Veteran Administrations. The VA hospitals helped care for him for 5 days in recovery, to his surprise, during his hospitalization, VA called on MANA house to give him a shelter to live in.

“MANA House saved my life,” said Will. “I stayed at MANA House for 6 months. They were outstanding for me. I couldn’t ask for better guidance, structure, and support. They pulled me out of my shell.”

It didn’t occur to him back in the streets that after one and a half years of continuous support from the MANA House, he would get another chance in life to share this compassion by volunteering for the MANA House Veterans Outreach Center at the Human Services Campus. “I love when somebody comes in and I can offer them services and they accept help,” he added.

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