Marine Corps veteran lost everything – then found HVAFDecember 22, 2020
HVAF reconnects Air Force Veteran to home + familyDecember 25, 2020
While Vietnam vet Bruce is spending the end of 2020 as a Veterans Villa tenant, the beginning of 2020 looked much different.
Couchsurfing & CVS
The Army veteran spent his first few months of the year homeless, as his landlord evicted him after missing rent. He was able to find a few different places to sleep. He stayed at his sister’s and a few other shelters. As of March 2020, Bruce found himself living in his car in a CVS parking lot.
Finding HVAF + Veterans Villa
Thankfully, after first going to Volunteers Of America, he found HVAF – Helping Veterans And Families. HVAF’s Property Manager, Will Najera, helped him with the paperwork for living in one of the organization’s apartments. Formerly known as the Don Moreau, Sr. Apartments, the building received renovations and is now known as Veterans Villa. Bruce became the first tenant to live in the building after the renovations.
Bruce said he is better at budgeting now, and loves living at Veterans Villa. He is especially thankful for Will and Case Manager – April Vail. If he is going to be late for rent, he said they give him grace.
“They radiate compassion,” Bruce said. “If I’m going to be late on my rent, they understand.”
Although HVAF offers food at its pantry twice per week – Bruce said he has never had to worry about going. Thanks to some amazing organizations, such as Second Helpings and St. Vincent de Paul, his cupboards are always full.
His own chapel
After serving in the Vietnam War from 1965-1967, Bruce went on to become a Catholic priest. He even lived in Jamaica for many years working for Kingston’s diocese. Although he is no longer officially involved with the diocese anymore, he holds mass in his living room every morning. He auctioned off almost all of his possessions and now enjoys living in his 1-bedroom apartment.
“My apartment is my chapel,” Bruce said. “I’m very happy here at Veterans Villa.”
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