In 2005, Army Veteran Keith Caldwell found himself homeless. He was dealing with addiction and lost everything. After moving extensively, Keith visited a Mission, where he was sent to a CFC-supported Veterans organization to move into one of the supportive transitional houses.
For two years, Keith lived in a transitional house and attended school. After working for a little bit, the job didn’t pan out, and he moved back into one of the organization’s transitional houses. After three months, he moved out of the house and started using drugs again.
In 2012, Keith attempted suicide twice. After calling the CFC-supported organization again, he was accepted into a former addiction recovery program that took place at the organization’s headquarters.
“The recovery program was good for me because it was structured, good accountability,” Keith said. “It gave me the tools and the initiative and the desire to do that. It made me mentally stronger than what I had been in a long time.”
Since then, Keith moved into an apartment complex that serves veterans; he continues to live there today, never missing a rent payment.
Today, Keith is a regular volunteer in the food, clothing, and hygiene pantries. Keith comes to the CFC-supported organization headquarters several days each week to help, working mainly too in answering the phone at the front desk when needed.
Keith said through participating and volunteering at the organization has taught him what success means.
“Success isn’t just money in my pocket or getting high today,” Keith said. “Success is being established and giving back--that’s why I come back here every week.”
If it wasn’t for the Veterans organization’s services, Keith said he might not be alive today. Because the organization saved his life, he wants to give back the time that was given to him.
“They gave me hope, they gave me life,” Keith said. “So now I transfer that back to the veterans that come in, seeing the same way I looked in them and try to help steer them in that direction; that there are hope and purpose in life.”