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I work as a peer specialist at Bedford (Massachusetts) V.A. Hospital. V.A. Peers are all veterans who are in recovery from substance abuse disorder, PTSD, persistent mental illness or some combination. I have struggled with all three. In the course of my work here, I also make use of the various recovery programs the V.A. has organized for its customers.
As part of the recovery process I am steadily working to clear up the financial wreckage that has accumulated over many years of neglect. Over the past eighteen months, I have been following the suggestions Sue Katz from American Consumer Credit Counseling has made at the Financial Wellness counseling group which meets each Wednesday at the hospital where I work. Working on Sue’s advice, I have acquired three secured credit cards. By strategically using them I have built my credit from essentially nothing to a respectable rating of 680. Using an ACCC guide provided by Sue, I am currently working on establishing a simple and workable budget which will enable me to have a savings account for the first time in twenty years.
For people in recovery, financial wellness is a critical aspect of reintegration into our communities. I know many veterans who have had similar positive outcomes by following the program Sue delivers. We are fortunate to have the Hands-on-Banking modules and her counseling assistance with them. We are all grateful for Sue’s efforts.
Steve Hines, CPS