“My life fell apart to the point where I became homeless, and even lost contact with my daughter, which will always be the biggest regret of my life.”
New York, New York - February 2021
My name is Robert. I was in the army from 1979 to 1982, stationed in Germany. I was married for two and a half years, but it didn’t work out. When I got back to the States, I went down the wrong path and abused alcohol. My life fell apart to the point where I became homeless, and even lost contact with my daughter, which will always be the biggest regret of my life.
It took me a long time to accept I had a problem—I was in denial, but once I made my way to Commonwealth Veterans Residence, a permanent supportive housing residence for veterans run by Volunteers of America-Greater New York, I was finally able to admit I needed help. My caseworker, Mrs. Robinson was such a sweetheart. She always went above and beyond to help me with any issue that came up.
Eventually, I was able to regain such a sense of independence and pride that I felt ready to reconnect with my daughter. I will never forget when I first got in touch with her and she sent me a picture of herself standing sideways. When I saw her belly, I couldn’t believe it—I was going to be a grandfather!
Volunteers of America-Greater New York helped to reunite me with my daughter in person, after 31 years. It was the greatest moment of my life and I owe it all to the folks at Commonwealth and Volunteers of America-Greater New York. I am so grateful.