Ronald didn’t necessarily plan on joining the military. He received a football scholarship from IU and enjoyed the party scene IU Bloomington offers. Ronald says he enjoyed the party scene a little too much. As a result, he lost his scholarship and had to move back home with his parents. Ronald’s father, who also served in the military, was disappointed with his son’s actions. “He wanted me to focus,” said Ronald. His father thought the Army would help him become more focused and disciplined.
Ronald’s father encouraged him to join the Army. “It’s the best thing he ever did,” said Ronald. He served in the Army from 1979 – 1982, and was stationed in Fort Lee, VA. Ronald was a petroleum supply specialist. A few of his responsibilities included checking for contaminated fuel, issuing and dispensing fuels, and operating equipment that uses petroleum. Ronald says that the Army did help him become a more focused individual. After finishing his work with the military, he took on various warehouse roles as well as conducting night audits at hotels for 10 years. In 2003, he says things took a turn for the worse.
Ronald and his wife ended their marriage that year. Ronald says this lead him to become unfocused, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and eventually becoming homeless. “I’ve heard people always say, ‘You’re only one step away from homelessness,” said Ronald. “When I became homeless it stunned me, and made me realize anyone can become homeless.” After five years of on-again, off-again homelessness, Ronald turned to HVAF for help. He met with HVAF’s Employment Specialist, Kevin Hillman, and is now employed at IndyGo. “If it wasn’t for HVAF, I don’t know where I would be,” said Ronald. “HVAF gave me the stability I needed.” Ronald currently lives in one of HVAF’s housing properties, has a stable job, and is currently saving to move into his own place. Watch this video and find out how Ronald improved his quality of life.