A veteran’s dream comes true

Salvation Army Center of Hope program in Louisville helps veteran find home.
By Erica Rucker –
Louis Dedmon, Jr. dreams of writing his story in detail one day. But for now, he is content with sharing one message: there is hope, and anything is possible.
“I’m living a great life,” he said. “I’m staying clean. I’ve been clean almost three years. I don’t look back on those days.”
Today, Dedmon, a graduate of the Veterans Transitional Housing Program at The Salvation Army Center of Hope in Louisville, Kentucky, is a new husband and homeowner.  
Offering both emergency shelter and transitional living for veterans who have more specific needs and goals, the Center of Hope is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Caring for our veterans is a natural extension of our ministry, which is motivated by the love of God,” said Louisville Metropolitan Area Commander Major Roy Williams. “With the help of a compassionate community and dedicated staff, we are able to give these men the sense of hope and stability they desperately need so that they may begin their journey to self-sufficiency.”
For Dedmon, that journey was long. He spent years trying to overcome his addiction, trying various programs and moving home with his mother but often experiencing setbacks. He maintained a job, but was secretly using.
Eventually Dedmon met Roger Noe, and he credits that friendship with saving his life. “Roger was the only person I knew that could get it right the first time,” he said.
When Dedmon reached an impasse in his own addiction, which jeopardized his job, he found the Veterans Health Administration, Compensated Work Therapy. He was still using and asked his superior officer for help. He spent 30 days in a Lexington, Kentucky, rehab. Upon finishing his 30 days, he thought about seeking residence at a halfway house in downtown Louisville, but his social worker suggested he go to The Salvation Army.
For once, he said, he decided to listen and called on his old friend Noe, who worked at The Salvation Army.
“Lou, you’ve been through this too many times. What do you want to do?,” Noe asked him.
Dedmon had long dreamed of owning his own home, and asked Noe to help him get on track to do that. He was placed on a strict budget and began to pay off his debt, improve his credit score and save money.
In 2016, he purchased his first home and met and married his wife, Joyce.
It’s a story, he says, that is one to tell.  

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