Stability Works: Meet Juan Rodriguez

July 12, 2023

Juan Rodriguez, a 50-year-old Army veteran, found himself facing significant challenges after separating from the military. Married with a 10-year-old child, he had been unemployed for three months and was at risk of homelessness. Juan served in the Army for over 21 years, primarily as a paramedic and later as a diesel mechanic. His last position before transitioning out of the military was as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) specialist.

When Juan sought assistance from Swords to Plowshares’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, his immediate need was to avoid eviction. He had received a 3-day eviction notice and was facing the prospect of homelessness. Additionally, Juan was determined to find a new career path due to a disability resulting from his military service.

Juan’s journey towards success began when he enrolled into the Jobs for Vets program. Just a few weeks after enrolling, he received an offer for a new position as a service technician at ABC Companies in Newark. Recognizing his urgent situation, Swords staff provided support to address his transportation needs, ensuring he could commute to work before receiving his first paycheck. Furthermore, grocery costs were provided, enabling Juan to take care of his family’s basic needs. His employment specialist also equipped him with work boots that met the safety standards for his new job.

His success story demonstrates the transformative power of comprehensive support for veterans transitioning into civilian life. Through the combined efforts of SSVF and Jobs for Vets, he not only overcame the threat of homelessness but also found a fulfilling new career that suited his abilities and aspirations. With financial stability and renewed purpose, Juan provides for his family while embracing a new professional path that offers growth and fulfillment.

As a testament to his resilience and the support he received, Juan's success story serves as an inspiration to other veterans facing similar challenges. With the right resources and assistance, it is possible to navigate the often-difficult transition from military service to civilian life and forge a successful and fulfilling future.