Military service often results in difficult mental and emotional issues for the men and women who serve. Dorsey Whitehead served in the Army prior to the 1980s as an officer. He comes from a long line of Army officers. His father, brothers and grandfather all served. His father retired and his brother works as a defensive contractor.
Born in North Carolina, he lived in Illinois prior to returning to North Carolina in the 1990s. This was a tumultuous time for Dorsey. Though he tried to maintain a steady job, his mental health and emotional distress resulted in bouncing from job to job. Bad relationships also factored in to create a very difficult scenario, and Dorsey found himself experiencing homelessness. From 2009 to 2019 he tried living with relatives and friends, but ultimately he found himself living in his car. Fortunately, Dorsey was admitted to the VA hospital in Salisbury, where he was stabilized.
Upon release from the hospital, Dorsey described himself as homeless, without hope, and with no future. “I was a guy dumped on the doorsteps (of the Arthur Cassell House) with nothing to my name.” Dorsey says the staff of the Arthur Cassell House (Open Door Ministries’ transitional housing program for veterans), led by Beth Waters, gave him a roof over his head, food to eat, and the resources he needed to get back on his feet. He now has two sources of income that he did not previously know how to obtain.
Now Dorsey is in his own apartment, continuing to transition to independence. The Arthur Cassell House staff still assist him with transportation and continued support. When asked what Open Door Ministries and the Arthur Cassell Transitional Housing program means to him, Dorsey replied, “Life- saving. It is a great place, wonderful staff—they do a fantastic job. “