Meet Alexis. While many veterans struggle to re-acclimate to civilian life, he is still in the thick of it, mixing army life with that of raising his children and supporting his family. Unexpected injuries, medical leave and financial struggles ended up being no match for him, though, and when he thought he was out of monetary options, he found the solution he didn’t know he needed: support from a community of veterans and allies at United Way Mission United.
Alexis is currently with the United States Army Reserve, a path he chose in 2003 — but couldn’t complete. Exactly 10 years later, he decided that he had to take the chance; that it would be now or never.
He has continued to serve our country, but he had to take an injury leave from his job working contract security for the federal government recently. Two knee surgeries later, many bills were piling up and he was struggling to support his family. Then he heard about Mission United.
“I was in desperate need of some help and the family readiness person in charge at the battalion referred me to Mission United,” he says. “I was unable to work for 9 months. I ran through all of my savings. It affected all of my bills, including rent.”
That last month before returning back to work, Alexis ran out of options. “I basically borrowed from everyone I could borrow from,” he continues. “Mission United was referred to me and was a huge help right before I got evicted.”
Mission United helped Alexis get back on his feet, providing funding for his rent and electricity bill. He sat down with the Mission United and United Way Center for Financial Stability teams and was provided with the tools he needed, from money management to short and long term planning.
Though Alexis will be spending this Independence Day at work, he is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Army Reserve. “This is something I’d always wanted to do,” he says. “It’s been a huge impact [on me] to be able to serve.”
United Way Mission United is a single point of entry for veterans to access the help they need so that they may feel empowered and motivated to lead productive lives after the military. Want to empower veterans like Alexis or know of a veteran that may need help? For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit missionunitedmiami.org.