From Homeless Veteran to Counselor

May 28, 2020

By Latino Media Collaborative 

Hello, I am Jesse M. I serve as Program Coordinator at Soledad Enrichment Action. I am also a professor in the Counseling Department at Cal State LA. I am also a part of the re-entry
experience. 25 years ago, I was a homeless veteran. I left East Los Angeles for the military hoping to change what I thought was broken, but things worsened. I became an addict and
lost everything. I wanted to get my life back. Through the support of programs and through my own initiative, I implemented new strategies to turn my life around.

Through these experiences, I learned that as long as you are breathing your assignment on earth is not over. I learned to stay grateful. I was grateful to go back to school. I learned to be humble and never forget. My current office sits next to the same probation office I walked out of over 20 years ago.

At Soledad Enrichment Action, we are not just a service provider, we serve with passion. We help men and women gain access to therapy, housing, and employment. From work boots to a warm bed, we do what we can to get our people back on track.

On Mental Health
A lot of people are sent to us because of domestic violence issues. Through our therapy sessions we focus on building a healthy person. We look at healing from within and knowing their identity as men and women. We talk about healing the past and family patterns. We talk about forgiveness of themselves and their family and being able to move forward. We don’t want them to just sit in a group and listen and sign in and leave. We take everyone down a journey. It is tough but people begin to open up and realize that life is not over them.

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