12 Vets of Christmas Day 1: Navy Veteran AlDecember 18, 2023
12 Vets of Christmas Day 3: Navy Veteran SherryDecember 18, 2023
This blog post is part of HVAF’s annual tradition: 12 Vets of Christmas, where each day for 12 days, we feature a veteran whose life has been positively changed because of the essential services and programs your support made possible in 2023. Thank you for supporting HVAF and our veterans.
After losing his job due to the company making cuts, Army veteran Berry found himself homeless. Thankfully he found HVAF and was safely housed at Manchester Apartments – one of HVAF’s transitional housing units. After working to overcome barriers with his case manager, he now lives in his own apartment.
“I’ve been through some trials and tribulations in my life,” Berry said. “I just got to keep on plugging, no matter what happens.”
Berry & VetWorks
This past year, HVAF’s VetWorks Team has helped him achieve one of his dreams: becoming a chef!
HVAF’s VetWorks is a multi-phase, collaborative workforce development program for veterans. The program equips and trains veterans in order to obtain and maintain good and promising jobs.
Last summer, he completed Phase I, which is an internship with either HVAF or Downtown Indy, Inc. Berry worked as one of Downtown Indy’s Street Ambassadors.
VetWorks Employment Specialist Cole said working with Berry during his internship at Downtown Indy was truly a joy.
“The energy that he brings to a team environment is infectious and it really brought an enthusiastic dynamic to the Street Ambassador crew,” Cole said. “Furthermore, Berry’s confidence level has grown remarkably since starting VetWorks.”
After completing Phase I, Berry moved onto Phase II where he enrolled in Second Helpings Culinary Job Training.
Now graduated from Second Helpings, Berry is ready for his new career as a prep cook with Aramark at Eli Lilly and Company. His Phase III Employment Specialist, Alberta, is helping him begin his new job.
Berry is so thankful for the VetWorks team, especially his Employment Specialists Alberta and Randy, for helping him achieve his dreams.
“I couldn’t do it without them – I needed some people to advocate for me and they advocated for me,” Berry said. “I praise Alberta and Randy – they’re the greatest in the world. Big props to them.”
Berry’s story is a true testament that it’s never too late!
“I don’t care what your age is. If you want something, go out and get it!”
We can’t ensure veterans, like Berry, receive life-changing services to reach self-sufficiency without your support. Will you continue to support veterans in need and invest in the fight to end veteran homelessness by sending in your most generous gift by December 31st? Please send in your year-end tax-deductible donation to support Hoosier Heroes in 2024 .