Mark has persevered after a stroke, addiction led to homelessness

As a Navy Veteran, Mark has always had good work ethic and drive. He has always had a job and stayed busy until January 5, 2018, when life caught up with him. Mark suffered a stroke due to stress and drug addiction. All of a sudden he had no job which led to nowhere to live and very little to eat. He didn’t know where to turn. Mark found refuge at the VA (Veteran Affairs) Domiciliary.

The VA Domiciliary provides a specialized residential rehabilitation program for homeless Veterans that includes mental health treatment, vocational assessment, counseling and employment leads. This is exactly what Mark needed.

Workouts at the Y

The VA Domiciliary had recently partnered with the Benjamin Harrison YMCA to bring residents to the facility every Tuesday and Thursday to take part in classes or workout on their own.

It was through this program that Mark found Deep Water Aerobics with Anne & Joyce.

“These people are phenomenal! They give me so much motivation to really push myself,” he remarked when asked about the effect the class has had on him.

It has helped him with his balance, physical stability and keep a manageable weight. “Mark is one that is hungry and pushes himself to do more,” said the class instructor, Anne Panetti. “He is a great student and you can always tell he wants to improve.”

Mark stays busy through the VA Dom programming and likes it that way.

“They get you out there to see what else you’re interested in and to keep your mind off things. Recovering from a drug addiction is hard to do on your own and the VA makes sure that you have the help that you need.”

Not even a facility member of the YMCA, Mark has seen the positive effects of the programs and the staff. Mark hopes to soon become a member of the YMCA to continue his fitness journey.

Anne pushes Mark to him limit in Deep Water Aerobics.

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