the Homeless

Honoree:  Michael J Wood

Honoree Category:  the Homeless

Michael J Wood
Bio – Michael J Wood
 

Society often turns a blind eye to the homeless. Hard to see. Hard to fathom. Yet, it’s not lack of ambition that promotes homelessness, rather a culmination of events…mental illness, addiction, inadequate support, job loss, tragedy, divorce, grief, natural disasters…one life crisis.

Michael Wood witnessed homelessness firsthand. Well-educated and prominently employed, success was no guarantee. For Wood the unrelenting forces of addiction and untreated bipolar depression prompted job loss, family loss and life on the streets.

His journey through treatment and recovery unleashed redemption for Siouxland’s homeless. Pursuing knowledge in social work and psychology, Wood founded support initiatives for mental health, transitional housing and dual recovery programs focusing on addiction and mental illness. He established an annual “Sleep Out” raising awareness and funds and served on governmental boards securing policy changes and public resources.

Wood’s courage to share his story urges society to see the prolific problem of homelessness and work toward empowerment, recovery, change and opportunity.

Additional Honorees for the Homeless: Marvin Berenstein, Susan McGuire, Marilyn Murphy, Henry Plumer