Jon Schneider's Story


(Background music)

(Narrator)
Disabled U.S. Marine Corporal Jon Schneider found himself homeless and living out of a hunting blind in Northern Minnesota with no one to help. That's when Access North got involved.

(Corporal Jon Schneider)
Being a corporal in the U.S. Marines was an honor, but I saw things no one should ever see. And coming home has been very difficult. I've been homeless for over two years. I'll never forget those nights fighting off frostbitten toes and fingers. Giving up never seemed to be a choice for me. Because of the kind people at Access North and the great work they do, I'm starting to get my life back again, and that's what I see in the work Access North does for people.

(Steve Backholm, Center for Independent Living Specialist)
I got an anonymous call in my office, and they told me about Jon and gave me his phone number. I gave him a call out-of-the-blue.

(Corporal Jon Schneider)
I don't even know who that was. I was living in a tent, and I was transferring to my car because it was getting a little too cold outside. And, I got the call from this guy, and I thought, "Ok, is this another door, is this another line?" I say, "Ok, well let's give it a shot and drive up there." And, yeah, it worked out great. This was the only ones that actually really truly cared and actually really helped me through this - this struggle in my life. I'm so grateful for Access North, for advocating for me, for sitting next to me - not only transportation, but they also helped me out with finding access to things such as finances, food, clothing, furniture - the list goes on and on - I mean what it is you guys helped me with - my apartment, kitchen items, cooking meatballs. This guy helps me cook meatballs.

(Background laughter)

(Corporal Jon Schneider)
He does, yeah. So, I know how to cook now because of him. I was raised by my mother, and she never actually taught me how to cook. It was always, "You boys get out of the kitchen." And then, you know, when it came time to eat, we'd scarf it up. But, I've never had to cook before, so living out on my own now for the first time, I'd never had to cook. So, yeah, believe it or not, they hold cooking classes at their office.

(Background music)

(Corporal Jon Schneider)
God bless Access North, for the work you do, for caring and never giving up on me. I'm so grateful for Access North - for helping me get back on my feet again when so many others just shut the door. Thank you, Access North, for caring.

(Narrator)
Access North Center for Independent Living - serving Northeastern Minnesota for over thirty years.

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