JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A local shelter is breaking the cycle of homelessness in Jacksonville. Nearly a year ago, 45 men and women came to the shelter with no job, no shelter and no hope.
Now they have a steady income, driver licenses, and they’re sober.
Action News Jax spoke to one local veteran who has worked his way up from rock bottom and is now helping others do the same.
“It’s very hard to not be socially awkward to adjust to being in real life, but it’s gotten a lot better,” Kevin Shellhorse said.
He served in the Army for 17 years. He went on three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a veteran who lost his purpose after leaving the military, a man who gave into his addictions.
“I fell into a trap of party drugs, you know, different GHB, ecstasy. It kind of numbed it up so nothing really mattered.”
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Almost a year ago, he hit rock bottom and turned to Trinity Rescue Mission for help. It was there that he finally got the resources and support needed to conquer his demons.
“They’ve got me stable, I’ve joined the work program here and actually saved up money instead of spending for the first time since I’ve been out of the military. I actually (have a) decent amount of money in the bank.”
And Shellhorse isn’t the only one; 44 other men and women have also been able to break the cycle.
NEW: A local shelter is breaking the cycle of homelessness here in Jacksonville.
45 men and women came to them with no job, shelter, or hope and now they have full time jobs.
— Dani Bozzini (@DaniANjax) November 27, 2019
They have full-time jobs, driver licenses and they’re sober.
Trinity Rescue Mission hopes the community can see people like Shellhorse aren’t lazy or dangerous, just lost.
“Some of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met come through these doors and it’s circumstances, it’s addiction,” explains Trinity Rescue Mission Development Director Michael Messer.
And since conquering that addiction, Shellhorse has once again found his purpose.
He has started a church group on Sundays for veterans called Welcome Home, a place for him to help other veterans who face the same hurdles he has.
“It’s been a really great growing experience for me just being able to help people and hear their stories and hear their struggles.”
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