Chokel is a Veteran who served the United States Army in Fort Hood, Bosnia, Korea, and Germany. When the recession hit, work became harder to find, and Chokel was involved in a terrible car accident. He experienced crippling physical pain, and the eruption of bottled up emotional pain stemming from abuse and neglect he experienced as a child. Chokel found himself drinking to soothe his physical and mental pain. The debilitating pain often prevented Chokel from working, and as a result he became homeless, living on the street, unable to pay for the extended stay motel he had been living in.
Chokel’s first glimmer of hope came in the form of his beautiful fiancée. In spite of their love and support for one another, in December of 2014, Chokel hit rock bottom, the electricity in his apartment was turned off, and he was again facing eviction. It seemed like there was nowhere for his family to go, and that they’d be living on the streets in the middle of winter. Chokel searched desperately to find a place to stay, and was able to save up to stay in an extended stay motel until his family could move into a shelter. At the shelter, Chokel began to receive counseling for past and present trauma, and he was then referred to HOPE Atlanta for housing. Chokel’s case manager, Marita, bridged gaps in the family’s needs by guiding them to community resources, and assistance for army Veterans.
When the family’s time in the shelter ran out, HOPE Atlanta assisted Chokel with temporary housing, long enough for him and his wife to start new jobs, and Marita connected Chokel with a realtor to find a home big enough for the whole family. HOPE Atlanta then assisted Chokel and his family with the housing deposit, utilities, and referred them to a furniture bank.
Today, Chokel and his family live in a fully furnished 3 bedroom home in a safe neighborhood with plenty of room for the children to run and play.