By: Krista Didzbalis '19
MSW alumnus, Javier Galindo '15, rarely spends his time in an office, but can be found throughout the fourteen different New Jersey counties he serves.
For the last four years, Galindo has worked as an outreach social worker for the Veteran's Multi Service Center, who's mission is to provide services, programs, opportunity, and advancement to Veterans of the U.S. military. In this role, Galindo travels around the state handling crisis situations, and providing food and hygiene kits to the homeless to name a few.
"There is really no place that we won't go. I've been everywhere and have ended up at the strangest places. We will also go to jails, hospitals, and anywhere in the streets to try to find people and build meaningful connections," said Galindo.
As an honorably discharged war vet himself, Galindo understands the population he works with and uses his experience to build relationships with homeless veterans across New Jersey.
"When I left the military, nobody told me what to do, which is difficult when you've been told what to do during your entire time there. It makes for a difficult transition, especially for young soldiers who have just come back from war and need to adjust to life as a civilian."
Galindo has always had a passion for helping people, but was inspired to work specifically with the homeless veteran population during his time as an MSW student.
"The social work program at Rutgers helped me to slowly come to terms with being a veteran. Through working with others in the social work community over time, I realized that working with veterans is what I wanted to do, and I fell in love with the profession."