In this issue:
As we approach Independence Day, we wanted to introduce you to some of the men who have served our country and now need our help. And thank you to all of you who have served!
The new face of homeless veterans
|Steven, 28, is a Navy veteran who hopes to find work as an electrician. |
Less than 10 years ago, the youngest residents of the Veterans Transitional Living program were in high school.
Each of them saw the military as a way to a better life - college, a career, a steady income. Instead, after their service, they found themselves homeless.
The reasons vary. Steven, 28, takes responsibility for his mistakes, which revolved around a cycle of depression, drugs and alcohol. For Miguel, the memories of war left him unable to focus on civilian life.
"The military gives you such a safety net," Steven said. "A lot of guys just aren't ready."
Currently, seven of the 56 residents of the veterans home are under age 30. As fewer troops are needed in Afghanistan and Iraq, we expect even more of these young veterans to find their way to Volunteers of America, where they find shelter, food and support to start over.
"It's helping me be more motivated," said Miguel, 26. "After I left the Army, I was basically on my own."
Read more about their stories...
LightHouse summer program needs you
|LightHouse Summer |
Lazy summer days do not exist at The LightHouse.
But coordinators have ensured the days are fun. Students keep refreshed on their academic skills and have explored Sci-Port and the library, made salsa out of vegetables in their garden, taken swimming lessons, and attended Vacation Bible School.
They could still use some help. All the sites could use volunteers to help tutor students or offer some special presentations for them. As well, they could use small gifts (pencils, erasers, etc.) to be given as incentives or rewards for academic success.
If you can help, email Sondra Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 429-7510. In the meantime, watch this short video to see some of the fun at the summer program!
Clients see instant transformation
Five ladies left Westgate Salon with a new confidence after makeovers Tuesday.
The women are part of the Going Places Network, a job readiness program of Volunteers of America Dress for Success Shreveport-Bossier.
Some are unemployed and a few are looking for full-time work. All needed to learn about resumes, interviews and creating their own brand. The makeovers are just the finishing touch.
"I've never been to a salon before," said Tracey Shaver, who is planning to go back to school.
She was a little nervous as inches of her hair fell to the floor. By the time she was styled, she was in love with the new look and gave her stylist a huge hug.
That's exactly the reaction salon owner Cynthia Teddlie was hoping to see. She and another stylist donated four hours of their time to shampoo, cut, color, and style hair as well as wax a few eyebrows.
"I've always been about empowering women," Teddlie said. "If you look good on the outside, then you feel good on the inside and have more confidence."