I’m an Air Force veteran who was kicked out of the military for being gay. I didn’t address all of my mental health issues after that and eventually, it rendered me homeless.
I went to the VA hospital in West LA for help and the day I was there, they were having a Stand Down fair for veterans. One of the first tables I saw had a rainbow pride flag at a booth for the Center’s Senior Services department.
That was a lifesaver for me. Just the presence of the Center at that event allowed me to feel safe enough to get the help that I needed at the VA.
After that, I just wanted to give back to my community and be there for other people as much as I can.
I know what it’s like to suffer living in the streets. I can’t see people suffer, especially the LGBT elders who have already endured so much. They went through a lot in their lives when it was brutal and dangerous for them to be who they are. Their suffering has allowed me to live my life with my partner largely free of a lot of that hate.
Hometown: San Bernardino, CA
Year Started Working at the Center: 2017
Staff Position: Senior Services Housing Navigator