Shawn’s Story


Shawn is a post-Vietnam era Veteran who served for approximately 4 years in the Navy, a period of time he recalls as being challenging yet meaningful.

After separating from the military, Shawn’s mental health and substance use prevented him from being able to maintain jobs and relationships. Approximately 20 years ago, he found himself homeless and traveled to Venice, CA where he felt he may be able to find work and form new relationships. Through outreach, Shawn became connected to St. Joseph Center and frequently utilized the shower, laundry, and meal services offered through the Homeless Service Center. Shawn also became enrolled in the VASH program and in the Coordinated Entry System (CES), through which he became housed and has maintained his housing for nearly a year. Shawn is now engaged in case management, mental health services, and is in recovery. He has made friends with the other tenants in his apartment building, and often expresses pride about the coffee and elaborate meals he prepares in his apartment. Shawn’s journey from homeless to housed is truly remarkable in how he has been able to re-connect with his hobbies, especially cooking and socializing with friends, now in the comfort of his very own apartment. Our team agreed that our focus would be the most acute individuals, which we have done. Each of the 18 agencies in the Westside’s efforts contribute greatly and work exceedingly well together to find the appropriate housing option for many of our clients.

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