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Watch incredible transformation of homeless army veteran

Video forces us to consider our appearance-based assumptions
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Chiara O. Scuri, November 14, 2013 11:00:10 AM

There’s no secret that some countries do an abysmal job of taking care of their war veterans after they get home.

Though programs exist in the U.S. to tend to the various physical and mental health needs of returning soldiers, there are a shocking number of vets who they somehow allow to “fall through the cracks.”

Conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and an inability to make a smooth transition back into civilian life are among the reasons that so many end up struggling — and worse.

Jim Wolf is one of those “forgotten” vets. After he was discharged from the U.S. Army several decades ago, he descended into alcoholism, which led to poverty and homelessness.

Thankfully, he managed to get to Dégagé Ministries in time. The Grand Rapids, Mich. organization does outreach to help the city’s underserved and disenfranchised get a leg up and to know that someone cares when it seems like the world has turned its back on them.

Michigan filmmaker Rob Bliss connected with Dégagé and made a time-lapse video of Wolf’s incredible transformation as he cleans himself up and gets his life back on track. Bliss wanted to show how the people many have written off are simply in need of a helping hand and a bit of time.

Humans have a tendency to judge people based on the way they look, despite the saying “never judge a book by its cover.” While it’s a prejudice we seem hardwired to preserve, seeing Wolf’s end result after just a few hours of hair, makeup and wardrobe would be enough to give anyone pause.

But the transformation has had an effect on Wolf as well, and he’s since started attending AA meetings and has set himself up with securing housing.

Dégagé is currently engaged in a fundraising campaign to raise $30,000. They’re just over $5,000 shy of their goal. Click here to learn more about their campaign.

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Chiara O. Scuri

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