Please everyone, at the very least, will you please help spread this info around the web as often and to as many you can. Thank you!
*** To the man from Knoxville, TN who has contacted me on a number of occasions and stated he would like to see what we do and desires to help veterans, Here is Your Chance. Call me, no more emails or LinkedIn messages as you do not respond when I answer them. I do not have time to play. If you are serious, call me directly at 727-288-1545.
Hello ALL. As i have mentioned in previous postings, on 8/24/2012 while i was performing our STA *Project*Cleanup* in Clearwater, FL on Gulf to Bay Blvd near Sam’s Club and the Village Inn restaurant (which by the way is excellent in its new location) Jesus introduced me to this Homeless Vietnam Veteran (6 years of service).
He is 65 and has been homeless since….well since basically he got out of the Army. 40 years. Yep, a long time….too long for anyone.
Since i met him on 8/24 i have spent approx 70+ hours one on one with him. He has access to me 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Yesterday we spent the day at the hospital in Tampa, FL getting follow up on a surgery he had on his hand as i knew it was getting to be too long since he had the surgery. He finally agreed to let me take him. We spent from 12:00 noon – 5:30pm there. We got alot accomplished. Remember, he is homeless and now has 4 pins in his hand and a partial cast on, wrapped with bandages etc. It is HOT here and it is difficult to keep clean when you are homeless and on the streets. He had been attacked by a man with a steel pipe in Tampa early in the morning around 8/16 as he slept on the concrete near a Panera Bread location. Can you picture that?
This Homeless Vietnam Veteran in Clearwater, FL, is brilliant, to his handicap i believe he is perhaps a genius. In other words, one of the things holding him back. He is also a devout Christian. No alcohol, no drugs. He didn’t even accept the pain meds from the hospital after his surgery or yesterday when i was with him at the hospital, he declined them. On the streets he could sell them or get killed for them, either one.
As i mention, i have spent extensive time with him and plan to spend much much more. We are making headway each day. He is listening to me, trying to come out of the “bubble” so to speak. My goal is to find him a place to live that is conducive to him and his personality and needs. Not simply toss him in just any slummy place. It will not be easy. Once we do, we will continue to follow up and provide as much support as possible to him on numerous levels. I have spent a number of hours looking online and printing off locations for him to browse already. In addition i have driven to go look at and meet with the landlords of a number of locations trying to get a feel for them so i can take him to look also. I will not take him with me to look at every one of them as it can be very stressful and discouraging. No need for that. When i find one that i like or that i myself would live in, then i will bring him to look at that one or ones.
This Homeless Vietnam Veteran in Clearwater, FL receives a military disability, so he does have an income. Not a great deal, but much more then many i deal with on the streets.
Many homeless people who receive disability checks spend it all in cheap motels and on junk food as they can’t easily cook anything, usually motels you and i would never even consider staying at. By the first or second week of the month the money is gone. Typical disability check nowadays is approx $714.00 and with the average cheap motel being over $230.00 per week, you see where it goes very fast. Why do they do it? Because those 4 thin walls give them a tiny bit of security. Not much, but some. And some is better then none and a concrete slab to sleep on.
When the money runs out as it always does and the time comes to hit the streets again and locate somewhere sort of out of the way to sleep, sort of safe… they begin to get nervous, scared and they begin to “hyper up”. What is that? ”Hyper Up” is a term i use for when their body knows it is time to change gears and get psyched up to live on the streets again.
“Hyper Up”. Have you ever seen it? It is heart wrenching…..i have done this for 27 years and i never have gotten used to that and i hope i never ever do.
It has happened with me a few times with this very Homeless Vietnam Veteran already.
Now he has spent the last week at a motel and has now gone through all his funds. He knows he is stuck in this cycle as i have shown it to him in detail. He is not happy about it and is beating himself up about doing it again. However, he has not simply squandered all his money. After all, would YOU want to live on the streets? Also, he purchased his own cell phone which is much needed today in our world and enables me to be in contact with him. He also bought a pair of new boots as he obviously walks a great deal being homeless.
Yesterday while we were at the hospital his body began the cycle of “Hyper Up”. It is not pretty to watch. I will fight to make it as brief as possible. I won’t stop. What ever it takes. It is extremely hard on a persons body and mind. The body takes over. Literally. I hate it.
However, we are making headway as i stated. He is listening and acknowledging. Acknowledging is extremely important. What i want to do for him will not happen over night when he has been in the streets for 40 years.
Do i believe i can help him? As Jesus Christ as my witness and in His very name i sure do. By His and His Father in Heaven Jehovah God and to HIS Glory only. It is how i met this Vietnam Veteran and the only way i know how he will be helped. Literally.
Today, Friday, September 7, 2012 is his last day in this Clearwater, FL motel.
I/STA needs more time to find him a regular place to live. I am close. He will get funds again on the first of next month. I do not want to have to take him to the streets or a shelter again as he does not do well in shelters. Many don’t, it is not just him.
The motel keeps him calm and in a good frame of mind for me to work with. I like him, he is complicated but has a great heart, soul and mind. He is hilarious. He is 65, 66 very soon. He does not need to be on the streets.
40 years is long enough.
This same homeless man in Clearwater, FL has “given back” to STA for gasoline and food which he has used. He is NOT a “taker” or a “user”. He needs our help and extended and repeated opportunities. If you help me/STA with the funds, STA will provide the repeated opportunities.
I, STA needs your help right now, today PLEASE to keep this Homeless Vietnam Veteran off the streets.
It is $255.00 per week or $60.00 per night at the motel he is currently at. It is safe, clean and comfortable. It is easy for me to get to. It is a “normal” motel i guess you could say. He deserves it. He is a 6 years of service Army Veteran.
The other side of this is i could get him into a “room for rent” right now where there are a very nice couple of guys renting already. I spent an hour with them getting to know them a bit the other day. The need for this is $250.00 every two weeks or $500.00 per month everything included PLUS one of the guys loves to cook and is willing to give this Veteran rides to the store etc.
So here is the picture:
You may call me Direct anytime with any questions at 727-288-1545
Current Needs for this Homeless Vietnam Veteran (yeah i know i am repeating that alot)
Motel: $255.00 per week or $60.00 per night
Room for rent in a house: $250.00 for two weeks or $500.00 per month all inclusive (utilities etc). No lease.
I Repeat: This same homeless man has “given back” to STA for gasoline and food which he has used. He is NOT a “taker” or a “user”, he tries hard not to take advantage. He needs our help and extended and repeated opportunities. If you help me/STA with the funds, STA will provide the repeated opportunities as often as needed for this Homeless Vietnam Veteran….24 hours, 7 days per week in Clearwater, FL.
The funding amount stated above will go 100% to keeping this man safe and with a roof over his head. We also could use funds for gasoline as we provide him his transportation. When you donate please add a note and state that it is for ”gasoline” or “Vietnam Vet Housing or (VVH)”.
As Founder of Straight Ahead Outreach-Taking back Your Life Inc. (STA), I thank you very much and to use this Vietnam Veterans words as i know he would say….. ”Thank You, Thank You Jesus.”
Please help now, Thank you! Lance Greene/Founder