Veterans Treatment Court Graduations
Outreach to justice-involved veterans has been a key part of our case management over the last ten years. Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) plays a vital role in helping these veterans regain stability and reintegrate into the community. We’ve celebrated two VTC graduations since February. Both veterans served combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for both the VTC process was truly transformative.
Austin | USMC, 2006-2010
When we connected with Austin through the Spartanburg County Detention Center, he was facing criminal charges and in need of behavioral/mental health support. He was also in need of housing and a vehicle.
To help Austin regain stability, our team provided collaborative case management with the 7th Circuit Solicitors Office and the VA’s Justice Involved Outreach Coordinator to get him admitted to Veterans Treatment Court. We also helped him find transitional housing at Warriors Once Again, where we provide weekly case management services to the residents. Our team also drove Austin as needed to and from his job and appointments so he could stay on track within the program.
At his graduation in February, UWS Spartanburg Warrior Advocate, Lauren O’Dell shared, “Austin has a lot to be proud of. He’s worked hard to succeed in Veterans Treatment Court. He’s working two jobs and now has his own car. The next step is securing permanent housing, and we’ll get there.”
Michael | Army, 2007-2011
We originally connected to Michael in 2016. At the time, he was seeking a new job and assistance using his education benefits. Six years later, through our partnership with Greenville County Detention Center, we learned that Michael had become justice involved for substance misuse and was couch surfing.
Michael became a VTC participant in 2022. Over the past year, his life has completely changed course. He faced his behavioral health struggles head-on, joined Celebrate Recovery‘s “Welcome Home” program for accountability, and engaged in UWS’s Church Partnership Program. At his graduation from VTC in March, Michael shared that rediscovering his Christian faith is what got him through. His intent is to become a certified peer support coach to help others experiencing difficult times.
Upon completing the VTC program, both Austin and Michael’s criminal records were officially expunged. These men truly put in the work to make the most of their second chance, and it shows. Thanks to their effort and the collaborative support of so many organizations, Austin and Michael went from a detention center to becoming contributing members of our community.