“Homelessness can happen to anyone. In order to survive it, you need to be willing to make changes.”

After serving in the United States Air Force for 11 years, and more than a dozen in a career with AG Edwards, Rico lost his home after his job was downsized. The St. Louis native with two Master’s degrees could not have imagined that he would live in a shelter for a couple of months. “The hardest part was the lack of information and communication; it was horrible.”

Rico eventually learned about St. Patrick Center and our veteran programs, and came in for a discovery session. He joined our Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and before long, case managers placed him into an apartment and sent him on job interviews. “I’m a real go-getter and knew I had to make things better.”

While building changes in his life, Rico discovered a job opening at St. Patrick Center in the very program that assisted him. He applied to be an employment specialist and got the job. “Once upon a time, I used my skills to recruit new vets to the Air Force. Now, I’m drawing upon my experiences to help vets who are struggling.”

Rico is enjoying his work with St. Patrick Center, calling it eye opening and humbling. Most of all, he says he hasn’t had a single day when he didn’t want to get up and go to work to help other veterans. “I’ve been there, I understand and I’m selling them a new way of life.”

Our Stories

Stay connected. Sign up for updates from Catholic Charities.