Vet looks forward to life ahead

Allen Glosson’s life was changed forever when he was shot by a gang in Chicago. So much so that he spent a big part of his life ruminating on the past and not looking forward.

“I was pretty depressed and had anxiety,” said Allen, 65, from his apartment in Denver. “I just wanted to get my life started again.”

At 18 years old, Allen’s struggles started when the Black Stone Rangers and the Disciples gang pulled a gun. Aware they were after him, Allen tried to avoid the gang members but was shot.

“They came close to killing me,” he said. “I was in a coma for three days. Doctors had to take out two-thirds of my left lung. I’ve had congestive heart failure ever since.”

Allen recovered and was able to serve in the Army and spent some time in Vietnam, until his health deteriorated again. The military gave him an honorable medical discharge. That’s when he came to Denver. Years later he was able to join the Lakeside Police Department. He handled security and made police sergeant. Although a great experience, Allen began to struggle again.

“I got into a bad depression and started drinking heavily,” he said. “I was getting crazy thoughts in my mind. I wanted to leave on good terms so I resigned and moved on.”

Allen worked intermittingly in security until he was back in the hospital for asthma and heart problems. Eventually, he tired of living in and out of the hospital and nursing homes, and wanted a fresh start.

“So I went to Samaritan House when I heard about the new program for veterans,” he said. “I applied and was accepted there.”

For about eight months Allen said he met with his case manager, took classes for veterans, met a counselor and connected with the VA.

“I felt a great burden lifted from me by staying at Samaritan House,” Allen shared. “The experienced kicked up my spirits. I’m much more positive now.”

Although uncertain he could find his own place, Samaritan House found him a new apartment. He was the first one to move into a new complex built in Denver. Today he uses the bus and his walker to get exercise and enjoy life. And his grandchildren visit him at his place.

“I started looking forward to life instead of back on my life,” Allen said. “Samaritan House was there for me. They got me started on the right foot.”