After serving in the Navy for two years, Robert had difficulty with the transition to civilian life. He described the transition as “culture shock.”
“I was a Boatswain in the Navy, so my skills didn’t transfer,” Robert said. “I took the first job I could get, and started at the bottom with factory jobs.”
Robert persevered and ended up finding success working at the Indiana Department of Health. He said there were a lot of networking opportunities, which helped him find his footing.
But Robert struggled again at the start of the pandemic. While working at a student loan company, they downsized when loans got furloughed and his job was cut. Nervous he couldn’t pay his bills and become homeless; Robert reached out to HVAF for help.
One of HVAF’s housing case managers helped Robert with his rent. He said his case manager was “phenomenal.”
“It was a different time for me, with being let go and the world shutting down while your bills are still due. So someone checking in with you and making sure you get assistance -they really went the extra mile,” Robert said. “She definitely made me feel cared for.”
While he received rent assistance, he also worked with HVAF’s Employment Team. Thanks to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, HVAF’s Employment Team has a grant that allows them to provide new tools, uniforms, and education veterans need for their careers. During this time, Robert decided to work in the tech field. The BWF grant covered the cost for Robert to receive several different tech certifications, including the Full Stack Developer certification and CompTia Certification.
Now, he has the skills to work in his desired field as a financial analyst for Big Lots.
“This has been the most lucrative, rewarding six months of my life,” Robert said. “I went from a position where I thought I was going to be homeless to being in a position where I’m able to provide for my family.”
HVAF’s Employment Team cannot help veterans like Robert further in their careers without supporters like you!