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Disability Grant To Help Army Vet With Multiple Disabilities Build Better Life

by Leslie Ousley
(Des Moines, Iowa, USA)

I'm a 57-year-old black male with three young children who are eight, six and four years old. My daughter is the four-year-old.

This is my third time being married in which everything has worked out better than before. I do have 14 other grown children as well.

I'm 17 years older than my current wife. I'm still happy with my family although I can't do a lot of things with them or go places.

My service time in the US Army was from April 1974 to January 1977. After joining the Boy Scouts of America, I proceeded to keeping in uniform being a real soldier.

I grew up in a single-parent home. Being the oldest I had most of the responsibility of house chores, teaching younger siblings how to walk, potty training, and so on.

I've had jobs that I should have stayed with and others that I should have never started.

I know now that education is the key to a better life and that's what I'm teaching my younger children today.


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Disability Issues

I have always believed that if I had a father at home, that I would have been a better person with a better life.

I grew up with middle class friends, but not in a middle class neighborhood. So alcohol and drugs started my depression seeing my peers around me having all the things I wanted to have, but couldn't.

Not being careful playing softball caused me to lose one eye. Beating up someone I didn't know caused me to get run over or hit by a jeep that broke both bones just above my ankle.

Drinking caused liver problems and hemorrhoids. Not being able to purchase the right foods and drinks, and not having enough money to buy healthy foods caused me to become diabetic along with the intake of too much sugar.

I can't sit or stand for long periods of time and I cannot lift anything over 25 pounds.

Blood pressure, kidney issues, bipolar disorder and my mom being in a nursing home all combined to make my depression as bad as it is.

I was even at a point twice where I tried to kill myself. This led to me being diagnosed as homicidal.

I have a bullet in my left hip, two broken bones in right thumb and two other right hand injuries that I can't recall the names of. All this and all I can't recall have evolved into something that I would like to very much correct.

Financial Hardship

I happen to know that I'm a person living below poverty level because I can't buy food needed for myself or my family.

Although these different agencies may add up to totals of income earned, my wife pays half of her earnings to the State of Iowa for over-payments of unemployment she received.

So instead of making $1600 a month, she only gets $800 a month. Instead of me getting $787, I get the balance of $143 taken away from that for back child support and child support.

I have no transportation, no reasonable way to pay hospital and medication bills which are not free.

Another thing is my credit score. It is a very poor 535.

I was told that I was unable to work, but I believe that after I get my Bachelor's Degree in Human Services as a Chemical Dependency Counselor I should be able to move ahead in life.

My rent is a whopping $800 a month, which I feel is too much. I think that since I'm disabled, I should get a discount with me having a special needs child as well.

I just want to create financial security for myself and my family without having to stress out about how to pay the next bill and what to buy with little or no money in some cases.

Income Efforts

In 2007, I applied for help through vocational rehabilitation and started to get my GED. So in December of 2007 I got my GED and started an Associate's Degree in Human Services with a major in chemical dependency counseling.

I received an Associate's Degree in Human Services but I haven't completed the internship hours needed to complete the chemical dependency counseling. I only have 282 hours and need the balance to complete 1000 hours of internship.

Most or all counseling jobs require at least a Bachelor's Degree and that's what I would like very much to complete and move forward with a counseling job or any related position.

Since I've been looking for work, I've had a operating while intoxicated in 2006 and 2008 and have since refrained from drinking. Also I was charged with assault with intent, but was not prosecuted and I have no felony record.

I was only charged with cases that were later reduced to something lesser, but when a record check is done, all these charges come up and I'm told no for the job position.

I have one record with proof that the record has been expunged and send that along with the applications still to be turned down for the positions.

My vocational rehabilitation counselor has tried to help me find work too within my disability limits with no results as of yet.

I waited almost five years to get SSDI and it seems to be taking even longer to work at a job that is not beyond my limitations.

I don't want to be held back. I've worked with veteran representatives at Work Force in Des Moines, Iowa along with several applications I've done on the web.

The state of IA is claiming to be on a tight budget and a lot of resources according to my vocational rehabilitation counselor have been canceled or they are no longer doing them.

Specific Needs

I'm seeking a chance to get a grant to open my own business in chemical dependency counseling. Since I'm not sure how this works, I would need information on how to get started, license information, taxes/ how they are paid, etc.

I believe that with my own business I can move forward in life without so many worries about finances.

I may need a grant as well to finish school.

Business Idea

My ideal is to open a business that would be for court-ordered Chemical Dependency Counseling and taking urine analyses for jobs, courts, probation and parole and other areas.

I'm interested in how nonprofit business works and business for profit works. I want to share all my experiences with people so they will always try to do better in life and realize that it's not smart to throw away the one life you have.

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