Accident Disabled Army Vet Seeks Grants For Education And Housing
by Steven Klotz
(Lewisburg, TN, USA)
I am a 44-year-old disabled Army veteran. I have been unemployed for over two years. I search for jobs daily, whether in person, online, or at the local career center. I am trying to go to school for CNC machine tool technology.
I am father to a son who lives in Louisiana. I lost my friends and contacts in Hurricane Katrina. I live on my only friend’s couch and I am a burden on her.
I was injured during training at Fort Gordon, Georgia in 1987. I was honorably discharged with a 30 percent disability.
Being an active young man, I did not pursue my disability claim and just lived with the pain. At the time I did not realize how much it would affect the rest of my life or else I would have handled it much differently. I have been living in pain for 20 years.
I have an opportunity to go back to school to learn machine tool technology. This would enable me to support myself in the area where I live. I cannot afford housing, transportation, books, or tools to remain enrolled.
I have no bank account. I spent my life’s savings by scraping by, but now it is all gone. I pawned all of my tools and sold everything I had worked for my whole life.
I have a 1994 pickup that is not reliable at all. I did a title loan on it and I have to scrounge up $80 per month or I will lose that too. Then I don't know what I will do.
I have not seen a dentist in eight years and I very badly need to get work done on several teeth. I have one pair of glasses that are repaired where the frames broke at the bridge and the lenses are scratched.
I offer to barter my services on Craigslist but the replies are few and far between. I do get requests for painting here and there but Lewisburg is so far away from everything that I can’t afford the gas to get there, so I have to turn down the work.
After Hurricane Katrina, I wound up in Lewisburg, TN, working in a warehouse. After two years I was laid off when the economy crashed.
Weeks later I found another job 20 miles away. I worked there for seven months until I was laid off again.
After months of pounding the pavement, I got a job helping a handyman. A few months later he got his real estate license and quit employing me. I then tried to start my own handyman service but due to the economy, after gas and supplies I was not making even $100 a week.
After that, I did not have any unemployment left to draw and I have been living hand to mouth doing odd jobs. I am out of options and at the end of my rope.
I am seeking grants for school so I can afford transportation, books, and supplies. I need $500 for the specific tool kit for machinists. I would also like a housing grant so I can have my own place to live. I am seeking dental care and an eye exam and glasses.
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