Finding A Home for the Holidays: Ruben’s Story

December 10, 2015
Julia Weegar
Finding A Home for the Holiday: Franciscan Outreach Chicago

Ruben and his case manager, Jonathan Dargatz.

Like too many veterans, Ruben had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life as he suffered with PTSD and struggled to find the support he needed. A Marine with two tours of service behind him, Ruben faced homelessness. Isolated and confused, he did not know what to do or where to turn for help.

Thankfully, he heard about Franciscan Outreach and began visiting our Marquard Center in Wicker Park where he was able to receive regular meals, clothing and case management services. For many of our guests like Ruben, these life-changing services provide access to many of the essential resources they need, including counseling, employment and permanent housing.

For years, Ruben received case management services through Franciscan Outreach. He worked with Case Manager Jonathan Dargatz, who was able to provide a respectful, judgment-free environment for him to set goals, address long-standing issues, and connect to the services he needed but did not know how to access. “Ruben is a man of great character and humility,” says Jonathan. “He has always says thank you for every little thing that we’ve provided him. And, it was my joy to be able to assist him.” On Ruben’s behalf, Jonathan reached out to Thresholds’ veteran housing program, organized by the City of Chicago and HUD, to begin the process of getting him off the streets and into permanent housing. Finally, the day before Thanksgiving, Ruben received the keys to his new home in Uptown. Today, Ruben is enjoying the holidays in his new home. Congratulations, Ruben!

This is not the end of Ruben’s story. The excitement of an apartment of his own is both a turning point toward a better life, as well as the beginning of a new chapter, and he will continue to need the support and sense of community provided by Franciscan Outreach to ensure his journey stays on course.

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