Striving On With Purpose

Linda is a 58-year old army veteran who lives at Commonwealth Veterans Residence, one of two permanent, supportive housing residences dedicated solely to veterans. All 149 residents at Commonwealth have expe­rienced homelessness at some point in their lives and many have a history of substance use, mental illness or other health-related issues. Linda was 20 when she enlisted in the Army National Guard and proudly served stateside as a 76C Supply Specialist, earning an Army Service Ribbon and Basic Rifle Marksmanship Badge.

Honorably discharged after six years, Linda returned home to live with and care for her mother. A self-described jack of all trades, Linda usually had a job — work­ing construction, painting, whatever was need­ed — but she never quite found her footing. Three years ago, falling on hard times, Linda entered the shelter system and, as a veteran was assigned to Commonwealth.

When her mother passed, Linda was dev­astated and two years later still misses her every day. Now more than ever Linda needed a purpose and the staff at Commonwealth recognized that. When there is a task that needs a vol­unteer, they call on Linda who never refuses. Linda regularly attends the on­site Relapse Prevention Group meeting, and always finds a willing ear in staff.

Linda says she would be lonely if she were living on her own. She is grateful to be here, where staff only have to look at her face to know when she needs to talk.

“I wake up and thank the Man above for watching over my mom in heaven and for watching over me.”