Former Hope House Client Working to End Veterans' Homelessness
9/1/2015 3:33 PM
Last week, we got a call from a former client who happened to be in Milwaukee and wanted to stop in and say hello. We are so honored that he got in touch with us and were thrilled to hear his amazing story of triumph and hope, even in the midst of struggle.
Keith Howard-Streicher came to Hope House almost 20 years ago with his mother and sister. Keith’s father had just been tragically shot in Chicago and the family had nowhere to go. They came to Milwaukee looking for a better life, and that life began at Hope House. Keith was just five years old when he and his family stayed at Hope House.
He shared a few distinct memories from his time here: One was eating a healthy snack of peanut butter and celery sticks with the other kids in the shelter. He laughed recalling that he loved the snack more than the other children, so they gave theirs to him. Keith also remembered a teacher at Hope House named Andrew Doctor. Mr. Doctor later became Keith’s English teacher in high school, helping him overcome academic challenges and finish high school.
After they left Hope House, Keith’s family remained in Milwaukee where they found stability, a new home and a new community. His mother became very active in church, attending High Love Ministries regularly, and organizing outreach and fundraisers. She continues to serve in church ministry to this day.
Keith said his mother always taught him, “Make your story positive,” and he has done just that. After high school, Keith served in the US Army, doing tours in South Korea and Iraq. When he returned to the US after finishing his time in the Army, he moved to Washington DC and landed an internship at the White House in their Office of Management and Administration. He assisted with hiring processes, security and even the Annual Easter Egg Roll. What an amazing triumph to go from the Hope House to the White House!
When his internship came to a conclusion, Keith got a job working for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a House of Representatives delegate from Washington DC. There, Keith found a passion related to his past: working to solve veterans’ homelessness in the nation’s capitol. Keith approached this role from a place of personal experience, both as a veteran himself, and as someone who had once experienced homelessness. After all that he had been through, he appreciates the opportunity to give back.
Today, Keith now works as Assistant Director at the American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization. Keith also serves on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Board of Appeals. He continues to be active in working to end veterans’ homelessness.
We are so proud of Keith’s accomplishments, and honored that he came back to Hope House to tell his story.