In 1996 I left the Marine Corps a changed young man and was ready to take on the world in the private sector. I left home in Santa Clara, CA in 1998 to go to school in San Luis Obispo. After studying in graphic arts, I co-founded a music promotion company that became very successful. Later in 2003, I was again blessed, this time becoming a proud father of a beautiful baby girl. In 2009, I sold my portion of the company to my partner and began working as a technical director for television news. Then, in 2015 tragedy struck and I was in a horrible car accident. My legs were severely injured and the prognosis was not looking well. My doctor gave me a 50% chance of ever walking again. I spent the next 6 months in a wheelchair. During this period, all of my savings were gone and I was let go at work and, shortly after, lost my home. Everything I had worked for was slipping through my fingers with only darkness on the horizon. At 41 years old, I had become unemployed, injured, and homeless for the first time in my life. I even had to have my daughter cared for by my ex-wife. Depression set in and I could not find any way out of that dark hole.
In 2016 the first good blessing happened, that would be one of many. I made a full recovery physically and was walking on my own. I tried hard to get back into the job market, but living place-to-place and being over qualified for entry level positions at most companies I applied for made it very difficult. I finally swallowed my pride and realized I couldn’t do this on my own. I needed help. I went into the offices of the SSVF; little did I know that this would be the first step back to stability and success. The great team at the SSVF quickly found me a home and the blessing of being reunited with my daughter. I was finally on my way to happiness and taking my life back into my hands. The SSVF helped me set goals and milestones. They also referred me to Laura at Goodwill Central Coast. Laura worked with me on my resume and also helped me look for jobs in my area. Each time I went in, I would see a sign on her desk that read “Believe in Miracles.” Finally I went into her office and she advised me she had an amazing opportunity and knew I was the right person for the job. She explained that a gentleman who was looking to retire after 59 years in the business wanted to give his entire business to a responsible veteran in need, who would do right by his company. She quickly set up an appointment and I was on my way. Once I met this man we got along very well and I had high hopes. I went back in to see Laura and she called the owner, who liked me and said I impressed him. She told him over the phone there was no other candidate that could possibly do the job as I could, and, amazingly enough, the man choose me as his successor.
As of October 1st, 2017, I became a business owner, and I couldn’t be happier. “Without the help of the SSVF and Laura at Goodwill, I would not be where I am today. Miracles do happen, and I feel very blessed” is what I say to myself every morning now. I have a great home, my daughter is back in my life, and I now run a great business that will allow me to provide for my family and myself. I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who helped me.