A local Coast Guard veteran has started a junk hauling service and wants to help fellow veterans reduce homelessness in Clark County.
JDog Junk Removal & Hauling local franchise owner Joshua Coleman started his business a few months ago and now operates from his home in Ridgefield. He employs two of his, including his daughter and a fellow veteran who will soon leave for a full-time job in the Air Force.
To expand its workforce, Coleman plans to partner with the Vancouver Veterans Administration campus and its occupational therapy program to hire up to 10 fellow veterans.
Having a veteran-owned and operated business means there is special support and understanding for workers, Coleman said. It’s a better environment by comparison.
“We really couldn’t help if a man was suffering from PTSD,” he said, referring to his former company. “We still had to deliver parcels. Here people understand what they went through. We understand the brotherhood and sisterhood of serving.” If they’re having a rough day, we can help pick up the slack.”
Part of Coleman and JDog’s mission is to reduce the homeless rate among veterans to less than 1%.
Coleman said the company has partnered with Vancouver’s Lutheran Community Services to collect high-quality furniture from homes and deliver it to refugees coming to the United States from war-torn areas, including Syria.
“If someone needs furniture removed, we can just hang on to that furniture and give it to a family in need, rather than turning it into junk,” he said.
Coleman’s recent career path has been unconventional. While serving in the Coast Guard, he was primarily engaged in search and rescue missions, he said. He retired in 2014 and moved to Clark County to work for several large companies.
A few months ago, Coleman signed a franchise agreement with JDog Junk Removal & Hauling, founded by Tracy and Jerry Flanagan in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. JDog is spread across his 200+ locations in the US
“Working at a big company felt a little soulless. I wasn’t really working towards a mission,” he said. “I wanted to get back to a place where I could connect with other vets and service members and help vets who were homeless, homeless or struggling.”