Facing Life on its Own Terms

Client Spotlight: Eddie M.

Though he wasn’t physically wounded while serving in Iraq during the Gulf War, Navy Veteran Eddie M. suffered from the psychological and emotional consequences of war.

“When I came home, I experienced for the first time being homeless. I had a couple of jobs, but with my PTSD I couldn’t hold a job.”

Eddie maintained some stability over the next couple of decades, but he struggled with alcohol addiction.

“I’ve had long-time sobriety, but when things went wrong, I didn’t figure that life was doing me fair and so I would self-medicate,” he said. “I would mask my problems with alcohol and find myself in situations that were not healthy for me.”

His struggle reached a breaking point in 2022 when he was arrested and spent nearly two weeks in jail.

“I went to jail and came out feeling hopeless; I felt like the world was against me.”

Despite feeling defeated, Eddie got help. He was connected with a couple of different treatment and transitional housing programs, but says things really began to change in March 2023 after going to Hope House, CaringWorks’ 70-bed residential facility that provides quality housing and structured support to adult men who have experienced homelessness and are in recovery from substance addiction. Eddie says Hope House gave him the tools and coping skills to face his demons.

“When you self-medicate, the situation or problem is still in front of your face. While at Hope House, I had to sit back and look at each situation and think about why I was in that position. I know a lot of things in life can’t be bypassed and you have to face it. That’s what I’ve been doing: handling everything that was negative, and even the positive.”

Eddie says he’s in a much better place to cope with life’s challenges.

“Life right now is much better than going out there drinking or drugging. I can face life on its own terms.”

Eddie’s sobriety also allows him to focus on his goals for the future. He looks forward to moving into his own home, and he wants to finish something he started more than 20 years ago.

“I want to go back to school and finish my aviation mechanics degree. That’s something I started back in 2003 but never got to finish it.”

Eddie also has a job where he works five days a week and he says it gives him confidence and purpose.

“It’s one of my highlights of the day. I leave on a positive note knowing I’m doing something productive for my life. The reward is me feeling good about myself.”

Eddie says homelessness and tough times can happen to anyone and he encourages others to have compassion.

“Never look down on a homeless person because you don’t know their situation for what brought them there. Anybody can be in that position. As an individual who’s been homeless, we are people; we have feelings too. We go through bad situations, but at the end of the rainbow there is a brighter day for each and every one of us.”

Eddie is now a source of inspiration for other men living at Hope House, and he says if he can be successful, so can they.

“Hope House is there to restructure lives and put people on the right track to be a better person to themselves, to society, and to their families. A lot of people don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, and I want them to see that.”


Help more people like Eddie break the cycle of homelessness.


About CaringWorks:

Built on the single idea that all people—no matter their social or economic standing—should have a chance to improve their quality of life, CaringWorks has served thousands of clients throughout our 20-plus-year history. Since our inception, we have grown exponentially to become one of Georgia’s leaders in providing permanent supportive housing. We serve hundreds of individuals each year through unique programs and services that are specifically tailored to the needs of those facing chronic homelessness.

Donate today to help us end homelessness.

February 2024