Robert Reynolds’ Journey Home
Army Veteran Rob Reynolds hit his limit last summer. Following nearly 8 months in jail for charges which were ultimately dismissed, Rob found himself released in the dead of January with nothing but the clothes on his back. After years of small business ownership, Rob now had no money, no assets, and a wrecked credit score through no fault of his own.
This was not how Rob’s life had played out up to that point. He served in the Army as a young man, providing radio and telephone communications to Camp Stanley in South Korea and a secondary duty as the General’s driver. After discharge, he owned a small business performing sewer maintenance for years. Nothing about his past suggested that Rob would end up homeless.
Veterans like Rob, those who experience literal homelessness, are sometimes difficult to engage simply because they have a hard time believing that anyone can really help them. When he decided to respond to MACV Hotel Program Manager James McCloden’s ongoing contact attempts, Rob explains, “I didn’t think anyone could help me and my life was done.” But within 12 hours of talking to James, the Veteran found himself walking into a room at MACV housing partner Extended Stay.
Following two weeks in the hotel, Rob moved into one of MACV’s transitional housing properties, where he now resides while rebuilding his business. The MACV Employment Services team helped Rob secure a job which allows him to use a company van to do his own contracts outside working hours. This allows him to focus all his income on relaunching General Rooter, the business he owned for decades. Employment Case Manager Scot Harris connected Rob with a web designer, resulting in a website for General Rooter set to come online in May 2021.
Rob also recently secured a private business loan from an individual interested in supporting Veterans, creating additional funding for routine costs small business often incur upon opening. “A bunch of pieces of the puzzle came together because of MACV,” Rob notes.
“I owe all the thanks to MACV,” says Robert. “They’ve got me in a safety net, basically.” Hoping to give back to other Veterans in need, Rob hopes to become an employer partner when he starts hiring employees again. Having already secured new contracts, he also plans to move into his own place in the next month or two. MACV staff who worked with Rob the longest, like James McCloden, are now friends Rob wants to keep in his life for years to come. We celebrate the incredible progress Rob made over the past year, and are honored to watch this determined, capable Veteran reestablish the life he deserves.