Local vet goes from homeless to hopeful

- A local veteran went from homeless to hopeful after receiving help from the D.C. Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Michael Wiley served in the air force during the Vietnam War from 1973 to 1978, and when he arrived back to the states he faced life without a job or a home.

“I ended up at the public library and I googled homeless shelters and the only one that still had an intake was a New York avenue shelter,” Michael said.

Through the shelter and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Michael met Ronald McCoy, the Director of the program. He helps individuals, like Michael, return to life in the states after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The program also provides connections to jobs, “We’re talking security jobs, we're talking jobs, office jobs, administrating jobs.  There’s even some jobs where they're using the skills they acquired in the military,” McCoy explained.

Thanks to the help of the program, Michael is no longer homeless and he has found a job he loves. “I work for the National Declassification Center.  And I review classified documents when they're eligible to be released to the public,” Michael said with a smile.

Michael wants others to know that there is hope and help out there. The issues he faced when he left the military are no different than the ones veterans face in this day and age.

On Thursday, the program and other agencies teamed up to honor veterans in anticipation of Veterans Day on Friday. Not only did they offer basics like meals and free haircuts, but also housing and jobs.

About 300 veterans received all types of services at Thursday’s event, and the best part is the D.C. housing authority says 40 veterans were placed in jobs.

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