It’s a long, grueling walk from E-town to Shively. The 34-mile trek took the 54-year-old Army veteran David McIntyre from 9:15 one night to 2:15 the next afternoon. This 17-hour walk might seem intimidating to most but, for David, this was his last hope.
Originally from Texas, David and his wife moved from Texas to Vine Grove, Kentucky in 2010 to get a fresh start. Everything was fine until early 2018, when David and his wife of 28 years divorced, launching David into a downward spiral of addiction, depression and hopelessness. With no support, no home, no job, and no money, David had seemingly run out of options.
In a last-ditch effort to find help, David called the Veterans Crisis Hotline. They told him that if he could get to Louisville, they could hook him up with programs and transitional housing. His journey to recover his life began with that 17-hour walk to Louisville.
The second step.
David arrived at the Shively Veterans Administration around 2:15 pm. Now armed with some bus passes, he was able to shuttle around to various destinations. Eventually, he was hooked up with the Coalition for the Homeless, which was able to find him transitional housing at the Salvation Army – both organizations Metro United Way partners, working to improve lives and our community.
Since transitional housing is temporary, David needed another form of help. The kind of help that would help him with his battle for depression, help him find work, eventually help him move into his own place and most importantly, help him sustain financial success on his own.
A new hope.
Sophia is a social worker with AcceLOUrate Savings, a Metro United Way program launched with the generous support of the Humana Foundation and designed to advance people like David towards asset security. She has been working with David since March 2019. Her first step was to assess David’s situation and come up with a plan that included securing a bank account, applying for jobs, creating a budget, improving his credit, and counseling him on the difference between wants and needs.
In the meantime, David received help by addressing his former addiction to medications and helping him with his emotional issues through counseling and prescribed medication to treat depression and anxiety. Slowly but surely, David started to improve.
The new David.
While David’s journey is far from over, he is now objectively a new man who is planning for a much brighter future. He is currently employed at the VA Hospital in Louisville, squirreling away money in his bank account. He even saved enough to put a down payment on a car and will soon be getting a place to call his own so he can reunite with his 10-year-old German Shepherd, Jake.
You can even see it in the little things David is doing that he’s turned the corner. Things like slowly rebuilding his hat collection, going to Bats games with some new veteran friends, and even planning to fulfill his lifelong dream of visiting Disney World – with Jake of course.
It takes a village.
When individuals and families are stable, our community is stronger. David’s story is one of many in our region of hope restored through the collaboration of many partners that work every day to create real, lasting change. We couldn’t be happier for David and we look forward to seeing him move into his new home.
STAND WITH US
And help more people like David get back on their feet.