Sandro’s Story – Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program

Getting Back On His Feet

As a teen, Sandro dropped out of high school and thought that hanging around with friends was cooler than going to classes, but he did take a GED test to complete his education. The shooting death of his friend three years later was the eye opener he needed to change his ways. He joined the U.S. Army, served for 13 years in a variety of positions and also while in the service, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in chemical engineering.

“Now I have a place to call home.”Sandro

While stationed in Honduras, he met his wife, who was also in the military. They had a son; the marriage however, did not last. His now former wife was reassigned to Hawai‘i and he was sent to Germany.

Sandro medically retired in 2011 and relocated to Hawai‘i to be near his son. He used all his savings to stay at hotels while he looked for a job. Eventually his funds were depleted. Jobless, he became homeless and lived under the bridge at Nimitz Highway.

Over a period of time, he found transitional housing, got a job as a security officer and began regular visits with his son. He then heard that he might be able to find some help from Catholic Charities Hawai‘i (CCH).

He spoke with a CCH case manager and discovered that he qualified for funding from CCH’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. He shared that he was looking for more permanent housing so his son could live with him while his ex-wife was away on another deployment. Sandro worked with his CCH case manager to budget his resources and he became informed about other community programs that could help him.

Sandro was able to find an affordable apartment where he could live with this son and CCH assisted him with the security deposit. He says with a smile on his face, “Now I have a place to call home.” CCH continues to follow up with him and will provide guidance until is he securely on his feet.