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New beginning for Barry

Barry came from Charlotte where he had significant mental health issues and substance use disorder. He’d been in and out of shelters for years. Upon his arrival at Arthur Cassell Transitional Housing for Veterans (ACTH), he was argumentative and struggled with following directions. Although he had income, he would frequently send his money to a “girlfriend” in another town. He would complain about “bug bites” that only he could see and demand to be taken to the emergency room for treatment, blaming the bites on “bed bugs” even though the bungalows were inspected by the exterminators who could find no source or bed bug activity. Barry went out on an overnight pass to visit his family and did not return for several days. He contacted staff and begged for a second chance in the program. Staff worked with Barry to get him into treatment for substance use. After 16 weeks in outpatient treatment, something clicked. Barry began to change his attitude. He began to find things to do around Cassell House to keep busy. He asked to do extra chores, and he loved to mop the floor. He was proud of the way he kept the floors clean. Finally, Barry approached staff and asked if he could get a job. He said he was tired of the way he’d been living and knew if he didn’t find something part time to stay busy, when he left, he would relapse. Staff worked with Barry to get him into a “back to work” program at NC Works.  Despite his past criminal record, they accepted him into the program, and Barry began to work. Daily, we he would come back from working and be so tired he could barely stay awake for dinner. Despite that, he mopped the floors in the main building every night without complaint. This was the first time he had a job in at least 15 years. Slowly, he began to build up strength and energy. Barry was working at a charitable organization accepting donations in the warehouse. It was a source of pride for him. However, he feared he would not be hired on after the program was done because of his past record. He was so excited to learn he was accepted for a part time job there. Then Barry approached the staff and asked if they could help him with a payee. Barry was functionally illiterate and could barely read and write, so managing money was a struggle. It was hard for him to give up control, but he knew if he didn’t, money would lead him down a path to use again. So Barry signed the forms and accepted financial help. This was a huge step for him, and again he was proud he made the decision. Right before the beginning of the year, Barry moved into a cute little two- bedroom house in High Point. He was excited to have his own house with a little backyard. He comes back on Sundays to wash his clothes and have dinner with the other residents.