More than ever, Veterans right here in Northwest Pennsylvania need your help.
- written by Kurt Crays, EUMA's Executive Director
“I was the target of my father’s anger and abuse. I got hit almost every day – when I was 13 my Dad shot me with his .22 long rifle. I’m still full of bird shot.”
Richard was raised in a small town near Bradford. He was one of 13 children.
While we talked, he told me he was a troubled kid. He got caught smoking and taking a neighbor’s truck on a joy-ride. One day, he came home from school and a Marine Corp. recruiter was waiting for him. Richard enlisted.
After getting out of the military, Richard worked construction jobs, was a logger and a long haul truck driver. He talked proudly of his time in the military and of his work. He said, “I ran from everything back then – all that stuff that happened to me when I was young…I ran…well, until I went to prison.
Richard shared that going to prison was the worst experience of his life AND that it was a turning point for him. He said it was all, “part of the plan.” The Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you – plans to prosper you and not to harm you – plans to give you HOPE and a future.” Do you believe that? I do! Each day, I see God’s handiwork in the lives of people like Richard.
When you support EUMA’s Liberty House, you are part of God’s plan for men who are homeless – who are running from abuse, trauma and addiction.
“When I got to prison, I had to stand up – I had to start facing hard things about myself. I got help from counselors and doctors,” said Richard. “I tried to make the most of my time in prison. I got my high school diploma and graduated at 59!”
After Richard got out of prison, he did not have a home to go to or a job – the progress he made was in jeopardy – his future was uncertain. But, declares the Lord, “I have a plan….”
Because of you, EUMA’s Liberty House for homeless Veterans is there to welcome men like Richard onto a God-planned path – one that includes a home, a future and HOPE for a brighter tomorrow!
Richard remembers, “I lit up when I walked in to Liberty House! There’s a great group of guys there…they’re not afraid to sit down and talk with me – to encourage me.
After Richard moved into Liberty House, part of his housing plan included getting a job.
Veterans Services Director, Justin Corey said, “Soon after coming to Liberty House, Richard was all over me about putting him to work around the house. From hanging new blinds, fixing light fixtures, to even picking up where others left off – he did it all and did it well.”
When EUMA’s facilities manager position came open, Justin thought of Richard immediately and recommended he apply. With glowing references and demonstrated skill at Liberty House, I hired Richard…on a trial, part-time basis – to see if it was a good fit.
Friends, in less than a week, it was obvious God had a plan for Richard…AND EUMA! Richard is now EUMA’s full-time permanent facilities manager.
“I love being a part of EUMA – I enjoy this work!”
Last night, 10 men spent the night at Liberty House. One of those men was Richard. Asked what his future plans are he told me he’s saving money and is excited to get a home of his own.
“…plans to prosper you and not to harm…plans to give you hope and a future….” AMEN!
Thank you for giving to end homelessness for Veteran neighbors like Richard. When you give, you are part of the plans God has for them – plans to prosper, not harm – plans to give HOPE and a future!