Pete is a septuagenarian with a twinkle in his eye and a quick smile. He’s a proud U.S. Veteran and an all-around good guy. Today Pete lives in his own humble apartment with modest furnishings, a blessing that is a stark change from where he was this past December, homeless in a local public park.
“We were checking in on Pete during our normal rounds and we found him bleeding out and severely in pain, literally dying right in front of us,” says Alfred, Ascencia’s Outreach Case Manager. Alfred and his team conduct street outreach, going directly to the homeless to provide basic needs. Sometimes the homeless are desperate to hear about Ascencia’s housing and supportive services. But sometimes, as in the case of Pete, they aren’t ready, even after having spent the better part of the last 30 years on the streets. “We do what we can for them at the moment and continue to check in, so that when they’re ready for help, we’re there for them,” says Alfred.
Despite Pete’s initial protests, Alfred called 911 immediately and EMTs transported Pete to the E.R. Over the next 6 days, Pete received 7 blood transfusions.
“As horrifying as something like this is, for Pete it was exactly the catalyst he needed to finally make a change. He was scared sober!” says Alfred.
At discharge, Alfred picked Pete up and brought him to Ascencia’s Access Center and Emergency Shelter. After having been so close to death, Pete decided he’d finally had enough. He and his case manager worked on a plan for sobriety and he committed to improving his health. Ascencia was able to enroll him in our Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and when he was ready, through our Shelter Plus Care Permanent Supportive Housing program, Pete also found a safe new place to call home.
“Ascencia has made a commitment to end veteran homelessness in Glendale and with Pete, we continue to march forward in achieving that goal. With safe, stable housing, Pete and other chronically homeless U.S. Veterans can work towards regaining wellness and control over their lives, a critical step towards continued stability” says Natalie Profant Komuro, Executive Director.
Today Pete is working on rebuilding the relationships that were torn apart by his alcoholism and homelessness. His three children are relieved that their father is in a sobriety program and has a sponsor. His sister, with terminal cancer, was overjoyed to be reunited with him. Before his sister passed, she had the opportunity to tell him, “Now I can rest peacefully, knowing that you’re safe.”