Meet Jared Bard – a veteran Air Force air traffic controller of 8 years, a father, an electrician in training and a resident at our Home For The Brave shelter.
Home For The Brave is designed to provide our veterans with supportive housing and supportive services with the goal of helping them to achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and/or income, and obtain greater self-determination. According to his case manager, Ms. Sandra Coursen, Jared exemplifies the determination and progress towards his future that Home For The Brave is intended to assist with. After putting himself through tech school to become an electrician, Jared has already landed an apprenticeship and is solely focused on learning and developing his trade.
“I decided to go to tech school because I wanted a challenge and a job where once I completed the training I would have gained valuable skills,” says Jared. “It is a long road of training, but I know once I complete it, my skills will be needed and I’ll have opportunities. Going into school, I didn’t even know how a light bulb turned on. If you were to say ‘how many electricians does it take to screw in a light bulb’, for me the answer would be two – me to watch and then the other one to actually do it. But now I’m close to being able to wire a whole house.”
Jared has been at Home For The Brave for just under a year and credits the program staff for helping him get to where he is now – making significant progress toward an independent future.
“Ms. Coursen has always told me that as long as I stick with the program, she’ll be my number one cheerleader. But if she sees me getting out of line, she’ll be that verbal kick in the butt that I need,” says Jared. “I needed to hear that. Ms. Coursen is a great counselor and mentor to me. Her values are very much in line with mine and she really cares about what route my life should be on.”
Jared has made tremendous progress since coming to Home For The Brave, but certainly is not done yet. He has goals and plans for the future, including working and saving for a place of his own with room for family to visit, and taking his daughter to visit family around the country.
Family is a priority for Jared as he works towards those goals, and it is clear that is a large part of where his drive and purpose are coming from.
“My sister in law said to me that I have a lot of heart to give in life and that has stuck with me. It is really giving me motivation – it is not just about receiving help and getting through the program, it is about giving back at the end.”