|Joel and Candy reunite under one roof|
Joel, a U.S. Army veteran, and his fiancé Candy were near homeless. Running out of money and hope, Joel was sleeping on his son’s couch. They were madly in love and newly engaged but living apart.
HVAF of Indiana helped unite them by providing transitional housing at its Paul House property and today they are happily living under one roof. Housing was provided to the couple through the Supportive Services for Veteran and Families (SSVF) program which helps veterans and their families reach stability through case management and financial assistance. Clients receive assistance with financial budgeting, job searching and goal setting.
“We moved in to this house in early February and it was very emotional to finally be living together,” says the 59-year-old. “Things got bad when we lost our jobs and my health declined and and then we both fell on hard times.”
Joel served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. He was drawn to the military because of the structure and sense of adventure it provided. A former truck driver, Joel returned home to Indianapolis where challenges mounted.
When Joel came to HVAF in October of 2011 he qualified for the SSVF program. He could not pay his rent and was near homeless. HVAF was there to help.
|Supportive housing at HVAF|
But getting the Paul House move-in ready was a work in progress.
“It was a collaboration of individual and community efforts to renovate the Paul House,” says Ron Shelley, HVAF’s chief operating officer.
In 2009, the property was donated to HVAF and shortly thereafter it was badly vandalized. HVAF maintenance re-painted and re-carpeted each room.”
Longtime HVAF supporter Bob Peel put his heart behind the project and helped secure donations. Volunteers renovated the property. The community also joined in.
“I don’t have a vehicle, but that’s the least of my worries now,” says Joel. I have a roof over my head and I’m living with the woman I love. That’s all I need, really.”
The couple plans to beautify the Paul House in the spring and plant flowers in the garden.
HVAF would like to thank the following community partners:
Robin Paul & Family for the generous donation of the Paul House
The Bank of New York Mellon for its donation of $2,680 for the Paul House roof.
Eli Lilly and Company for gutting and overall renovation of the property.
IPL for its participation in the United Way of Central Indiana Day of Caring. As a result, the group built the deck, created a memory garden, painted, and supplied flowers for the yard.