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Homeless Veteran's Relapse & Arrest Doesn't Mean Makeover Was Wasted

Posted by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM
  • 5 Replies

Homeless Veteran's Relapse & Arrest Doesn't Mean Viral Makeover Was Wasted

by Michele Zipp

jim wolf veteranEarlier this month, the video of homeless United States Army Veteran James Wolf getting a makeover brought tears to my eyes. Wolf has a history of alcoholism, substance abuse, and mental illness. He's been arrested over 80 times. When Dégagé Ministries, a Christian non-profit that helps the homeless and others with various disadvantages, stepped in to give Jim a makeover, it was a beautiful gesture to help Jim get on a better path. His transformation was inspiring and you could see the look of hope come across his face when he saw himself. 

Overcoming addiction is often a long path filled with setbacks. Sadly, Jim is dealing with a setback. He was arrested and admits he started drinking again.

Now that he is "famous," Jim has the world keeping an eye on him, which comes with its own set of pressures. On Sunday, 54-year-old Wolf was arrested at a Burger King in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was charged with trespassing and creating a disturbance, and has pled guilty. He will serve 20 days in jail. His drinking started again, but that doesn't mean he won't stop again. He's done it once, he can do it again. Recovery is a long term commitment, and we need long term expectations. As they say, we have to take it one day at a time.

Still, I haven't lost any hope for him. My father is a Vietnam Veteran and served in the army -- he's also a part of Rolling Thunder and now serves other veterans who are in need. It's a cause that is very close to my heart and my family's. A makeover and a fancy suit can help someone's spirits, it can be amazing for that moment, but we need so much more than that to overcome addiction, and battle mental illness. And one setback -- even a few setbacks -- doesn't mean Jim Wolf won't eventually get back on track. He's a hero, after all. A survivor. He can do this. It may take time, but he can do this. We can't lose hope. And neither can he.

Do you know of other organizations who help homeless veterans?

by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM
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Replies (1-5):
Mya62412
by on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM
That's sad, I saw that video of his makeover. I hope he gets back on track.
chrlstoncharmed
by Melissa on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM
1 mom liked this
It's very nice of the author to hold onto hope for this man, but when it comes right down to it, James Wolf is the only person who can change his life. He is the one creating this reality for himself. It's not that "his drinking started again" - what an idiotic way of putting it. Let's call a spade a spade ... HE started drinking again. Whatever faith or hope anyone has for this guy isn't doing him a bit of good unless he feels the same way for himself.
adrianna1043
by Adrianna on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM
1 mom liked this
I think people think that they can wave a magic wand sometimes and make everything better, they can't. Success is never instant, it's a long hard road, filled with many detours, and all we can do in the end is walk it together.
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violinjewel
by Julia on Nov. 22, 2013 at 2:12 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree with Melissa and Adrianna.
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sleepy_in_va
by Silver Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM
So sad he relapsed..

There is a place here close to me that is opening up soon that will be helping veterens.
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