Success Stories

Through our hundreds of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people in over 400 communities in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Since 1896, we have supported and empowered America's most vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Our work touches the mind, body, heart — and ultimately the spirit — of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. Learn more about the people we help everyday.


Read Our Success Stories Below

  • From Prison to Mentoring the Homeless on Skid Row
    After a long-term prison sentence, James is now devoted to his job as a teacher, motivational speaker and mentor for those in a drop-in program at one of our Los Angles homeless shelters. Learn more about his story.
  • Roxanne's Journey
    Listen as Roxanne, a Navy veteran and survivor of Desert Storm, describes the help she received from our Veterans Services Program. With the help from this program, Roxanne is steadily making her way back home.
  • Mary's Advocate
    Mary is an active, vibrant octogenarian who visits the neighborhood Volunteers of America senior center in her community regularly. When Mary is faced with life's problems, she knows she can count on Linda, one of our employees.
  • Jaime's New Start
    Jaime, a mother of three, fights years of addiction with the help of Volunteers of America's New Start program. With the support and direction of the New Start staff, Jaime learns the coping mechanisms necessary to overcome drug abuse forever.
  • Providing Affordable Housing to a Cancer-Stricken Teen and His Mother
    When the mother of a cancer-stricken teen began to worry about maintaining a roof over their head, our Greater Baton Rouge office helped them find an affordable housing apartment.
  • From Homeless to Helping Other Veterans Find Housing, A Veteran's Spirits are Revived
    Steve Dooley’s life took many twists and turns before he arrived at Volunteers of America. A social worker with two master’s degrees, and also a veteran, Dooley went from being homeless to helping other veterans find safe, permanent housing and employment.
  • Help for a Young Veteran
    Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge’s transitional housing program for homeless veterans, Garfield House, helps a young Iraqi war veteran transition back into the community.
  • Dear Volunteers of America
    In these difficult times, it’s inspiring to hear a story about someone who has taken the opportunity to turn their life around for the better. Read a first-person account of someone served by Volunteers of America.
  • Mike Takes Shelter from the Storm
    Mike went to college, began a career, married the woman he loved and had three beautiful children. He never imagined he'd one day find himself as someone on the other side of his desk… involved in drugs and living on the street, desperately seeking help to restore his life.
  • Karen Courageously Marches On
    When Karen was 22, she joined the Air Force. She loved the camaraderie and the structure it gave her life. But once out of the military, Karen's life took a turn… one she didn't expect. Civilian life and health problems sent Karen spiraling downward until she pulled herself up by her boot straps and back to the structure and support provided through a Volunteers of America veterans' program.
  • A First Time to Celebrate Life
    At the age of nine, Maggie had been admitted to a state facility due to mental retardation. For almost 49 years she lived in an institution where everything was done for her.
  • Learning to Love
    Her loveless past and lack of a caring, maternal role model had not prepared her for motherhood. While she loved her children, her parenting skills were so poor that she didn’t know how to be a nurturing, loving parent.
  • The Forgotten Veteran
    Returning to civilian life proved to be a difficult adjustment for Rodney. When he was honorably discharged after 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, the sudden independence simply overwhelmed him.
  • Crosswalk Emergency Shelter
    "I start seeing the kids for what they are beneath all that—terrified children, alone and scared to death—all of them. I have changed. I now realize I am not just playing pool—I am spending time with scared little kids—not because I have to, but because I want to. " - Bridget Canon Director of Youth Services
  • Camp P.O.S.T.C.A.R.D.
    “Who would like to read their story?” asked Shayne’s fifth grade teacher as she walked down the aisle toward his desk. Shayne felt a drop of sweat running down his forehead…and then another. His stomach tightened and he stopped breathing. He would have given his favorite Babe Ruth baseball card just to be able to simply disappear, but he was a tall young man and his striking red hair made disappearing all but impossible. As the teacher walked by and chose another student, Shayne started breathing again.
  • A Renewed Life Knows No Age Limit
    Change can be difficult at any age, but for Esther, who was in her late 80s, the loss of her daughter plunged her into deep depression. For most of their lives Esther and her daughter had been constant companions, going everywhere and doing everything together.
  • Joanne Takes Back Her Life
    “The more I got away with, the more I wanted to get away with.” That’s how Joanne sums up her earlier life. By the age of 14 she was abusing drugs and alcohol. Through the years, numerous attempts to get clean failed.
  • We Won't Give Up on Lucas
    At the age of 18, Lucas was no longer eligible for foster care. In the eyes of the state, he was considered an adult and able to care for himself. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Emotional scars and unresolved issues left him vulnerable and at risk.
  • A Place to Call Home
    Life had always been hard for a good man named Walter. He lived in the basement of a church, but he was about to be evicted. This was not the first time he had been homeless and he figured he could live in his old station wagon for a while.