Ex-vet with 80 arrests turns over new leaf with a makeover and graduation from rehab

Tackling issues like homelessness is one social challenge, but dealing with homeless folk who are suffering from substance abuse and alcoholism is another. Though positive change may seem out of reach at times, this heartening story proves that turning over a new leaf is actually very much possible. One just needs to believe and insist.

A time-lapse video showing the amazing transformation of a formerly homeless U.S. Army veteran had understandably gone viral when it was first published in September 2013. Unfortunately, a couple of months after Jim Wolf’s makeover, he was arrested and jailed for trespassing and creating a disturbance at a Burger King in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wolf admits that despite his intention to reform his ways, he had gone back to drinking.

©YouTube Screenshot | Rob Bliss

“I have no excuse for what I do wrong,” he said, as reported by MailOnline. “It is all me putting a bottle to my mouth.”


Following the arrest, Wolf’s sister, Robin Thomas, told CNN: “The makeover took a couple of hours. He’s had alcoholism for 25 years.”

©YouTube Screenshot | Rob Bliss

Moreover, Wolf’s list of issues weren’t limited to just alcoholism and homelessness, but depression too. His sister believes part of Wolf’s unresolved grief can possibly be attributed to the passing of his mother many years ago.

It’s a known fact that Wolf is no stranger to law enforcement, having been arrested more than 80 times in the past. Though the dapper makeover was only on the surface, Wolf still had much work to do on the inside.

©YouTube Screenshot | Rob Bliss

Fortunately, Wolf had accepted the assistance from Dégagé Ministries, a non-profit that’s dedicated to helping homeless veterans get back on their feet again, and they didn’t give up on Wolf after he was arrested following the makeover. On the plus side, Wolf didn’t give up either. He was determined to show his true colors.

“With the help I’m going to receive, I believe I can become clean,” Wolf said.

©YouTube Screenshot | Rob Bliss

Following news of the vet’s arrest, many people expressed hope that he doesn’t give up on his goal to take control of his life again.

“For some people, drinking is much harder to quit than others,” wrote one netizen, whose comment was among the best rated. “Hang in there, man!”

©YouTube Screenshot | Rob Bliss

“I hope he doesn’t give up,” added another. “It sounds like he at least is admitting it’s his fault for drinking and isn’t trying to blame anyone else or trying to get pity. That’s a step forward no matter how you look at it.”

Things eventually started turning around for Wolf over the next six months. Despite his first attempt at reform not going entirely to plan, thanks to the kind folk at Dégagé Ministries, Wolf was able to keep attending sessions at a rehab clinic to help him overcome his alcohol addiction, and he was allocated housing.

©YouTube Screenshot | Rob Bliss

Just like the rising sun that indicates a new day and a fresh start, by May 24, 2014, a relieving update on Wolf confirms that the once-homeless vet had indeed turned himself around. He had successfully stayed sober for almost seven months between the time of his November 2013 arrest and the May 2014 update. He was living on his own with a roof over his head, and was paying his own bills.

What’s more, he had graduated from the rehab clinic that sought to help him overcome alcoholism.

Though not without its ups and downs, Wolf’s story shows us that people can change. Though change may not be easily sighted at first, what’s crucial is the individual’s mind. Whether or not one wants to change for the better is the very first step forward, without a doubt. What awaits is action.

We also can’t forget the help Wolf received. It must of been significantly encouraging for the vet when his support base didn’t give up on him.

Now that you have learned about Wolf’s journey of improvement, would you like to see that makeover?

Here’s his makeover video, and know that today he’s a changed man:

Selfless homeless man stuns YouTuber, who pretended he lost his daughter