Reuben is 76 years old and was born in New York. His parents separated when he was 10 years old. After the separation, Reuben and his mother moved to California to live with his sister. He graduated from Aviation High School in Redondo Beach, California and he spent 2 years at El Camino College. Reuben joined the Naval Air Force when he was 18 years old and served for 3 years, 2 months and 2 days. He was honorably discharged after he was diagnosed with medical issues that prevented him from continuing to serve.
After being discharged, Reuben worked as a bellman for 22 ½ years until his physical disability worsened and prevented him from working in physically demanding fields. Although some would feel defeated by this, Reuben didn’t give up. He began studying to become a paralegal and a licensed real estate agent. In 2000, Reuben reached his goal and began a relatively successful real estate career. For 8 years, he worked hard to build his business and his savings. Unfortunately, when the real estate market crashed in 2008 it had a great impact on Reuben. He lost everything. In an attempt to try and rebuild his life, Reuben began staying with various family members until he moved to Las Vegas in 2014.
Reuben says that since the economic collapse in 2008 all his hopes ended. He began suffering from depression. He felt that his disability prohibited him from picking up the pieces and rebuilding his life. Since 2008, Reuben has not had a sense of stability or permanence. Reuben says receiving a Habitat home will give him roots again. He feels it will provide him a sense of security and help his self-confidence. He relies solely on his Social Security income to survive and as his benefits increase, so does his rent. He worries that soon he will not be able to afford food and health care if the trend continues. Reuben says, “Though I am disabled, I am trying to rebuild my life. This home will be my last home.”
In his free time, Reuben loves playing chess, watching movies and doing legal research. He hopes one day he will be stable enough to be able to help his family and friends like he used to. Due to his hardships, he lost touch with many of his family because he felt ashamed. He hopes that with a stable home, he can re-connect with his family and create new memories.