James came to Recuperative Care as a referral from a caring nurse who wanted to make a difference in her patient’s life. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and served in the late 50’s and early 60’s, just missing the Vietnam War. He was a sweet elderly man who loved to converse with others; he had a story for every occasion. He also asked everyone he encounters their birthday and remembers them all! James said that he may not remember a name, but he never forgets a birthday. Before becoming homeless, James was once an engineer within a prominent company for many years, but unfortunately, was let go due to the company downsizing.
James’ plight escalated from there, and he eventually found himself living in an abandoned motor home – left to him by a friend who had passed away. It had no electricity or running water, but it was a place off the streets. He knew someone who owned a business, and the man was kind enough to allow him to keep the motor home on the premises. Eventually, James found himself suffering from COPD and was on a 24-hour oxygen supply and breathing apparatus. He was also battling skin cancer. He had been very independent on his own, but admits, with sadness in his voice, that his condition was deteriorating; and he would soon need assistance with day-to-day living.
While at Recuperative Care, his case manager worked hard to connect him with non-profit agencies in Orange County, and took him to critical medical appointments at the VA. Case managers also took him to meet with a Social Worker at the VA/CRRC where they assist homeless Veterans. The social worker provided James with information for a Veteran Convalescent Home that James would be able to apply for. With the help of Recup staff, James was secured interim housing at a veterans assisted living home with an agency called Veterans First. James was scheduled to go into the home on a Friday morning, but there proved to be obstacles as he ended up being admitted into the hospital for the weekend. Luckily, he was stabilized and released from the hospital and was taken directly to the home. James now resides in a safe home with 24-hour care among his fellow veterans.