OMG!!! OMG!!!! Today’s Story 5-29-2013….
Wow, i do not know where to begin…ok, maybe from the beginning….
I will attempt to make a verrry long story as brief as possible….
Warning….I am not too good at that… :-))!
We have known a particular homeless 66 year old United States Army Combat Veteran (6 yrs in) of the Vietnam War since last August 24th, 2012 when i met him on the streets of Clearwater, Florida while i was doing our *Project*CleanUp*.
Ever since that day i have been trying to talk this Veteran into getting into a place of his own. I have looked at a number of apartments for him over the last 9 months.
He is on disability, so he receives an income. His typical routine for approx the last 41-42 years is that on the first of the month when he receives his check, he goes and stays in a motel. He stays for one to two weeks until he runs out of most of his money and then spends the next 2-3 weeks living on the streets. Many many homeless do this who receive disability.
He and i have had many long “discussions” about this. I have told him how much it hurts me to drop him off somewhere and watch him go into the dark, knowing he will be sleeping on a slab of concrete somewhere. We always know where….he trusts us with that information.
A great deal has happened with him over the last 9 months, heck especially in the last 4 months.
I would go to him 3 times a day every day of the week for most of the time we have known him and spend hours with him, sometimes all night when he seemed more depressed then others.
In the last few months it has been much less but we always keep in touch. He calls me every single morning and every single night on the Net10 cell phone i pushed him to purchase (with his own money). I am so glad i did that, that phone has been a life saver for him. Literally.
FAST FORWARD to Today, 5/29/2013
Today we were going to go for coffee this morning. I picked him up at 11:00am.
I decided to ask him if he wanted to have pizza instead and go sit at one of mine & my wife’s favorite parks, Philippe Park in Pinellas County Florida and have lunch.
He liked the idea, so we did. I ordered Pizza from Pizza Hut and we had a great lunch at the park by the water. We talked about God, comedy shows like Seinfeld and many others like we always do.
He is a great conversationalist. He is extremely smart…i will even say i believe he most likely is a genius, literally.
Our talk turned to his homelessness as it does every time….
The Difference is…this time it was NOT me initiating that conversation…
It was Him….
I had left his homelessness 3 months ago up to Jesus. I promised Jesus though that i would be there if He needed me to be there.
And so here we were…..at God’s Park that HE created….with Jesus sitting with us at the picnic table by the water God put on the earth.
It was awesome to be in Jesus’s Peaceful Presence…
So this U.S. Army Combat Veteran started talking about how tired he was of the streets…how he did not think he could do it much longer and how he feels like he is going to die out there soon…..i can see he is getting scared out there and it bothers me to my core every night i lay my head on my pillow to sleep for the last nine months.
He was asking me to help him…help him find a place to live in….he has had an offer from another local organization to help him with rent deposit and electricity deposit too.
This Veteran had asked me if i could pick up a newspaper so he could look for an apartment or room for rent. He was ready to look. He didn’t want the motels or the streets anymore.
I could feel Jesus’ Presence….it was strong….the problem is we as people, no matter who we are have to be ready and willing to accept Jesus’ help and direction. I hoped & prayed this veteran is ready. What a Blessing all around that would be.
Fast forward to 3:00pm today……
After driving around a little bit in the Safety Harbor FL area i decided to bring him by a particular 55+ mobile home park, because i could feel Jesus pushing me to do so…. I asked him to tell me what he thought as we pulled in and to tell me how it “felt” to him. THATS what we look for….STA refuses to just throw anyone into just anywhere to live just so they have a roof. We simply will not do it. We will leave them on the street before we will do that….why? because simply throwing them into anywhere simply does not work…..I could care less what ANYONE tells you or what ANY numbers they want to try and fool you with. Would you want to live in a dive surrounded by trouble constantly? Especially if you do not do drugs or alcohol? Of course not!
So why should someone, just because they are homeless be placed in that environment then?
Treat a Person As They Are, and They Will Remain As They Are.
Treat Them As They Could Be, & They Will Become What They Should Be.
I have seen the results.
Soooo…I digress as usual….
Soooo….we drive into this particular mobile home park which just happens to be less then a mile from mine and my wife’s home. Very very close. We could check on him anytime.
He tells me he would love a place like this! I said why? He told me because it seems quiet and i could “fit in” here. I thought …ok cool….bingo!
So, one thing lead to another and we were all of a sudden talking to the manager by complete accident…..or was it? To me…as history shows me every single time…it was plain and simple…..the manager was very nice and did not talk down to this veteran like so many do…I really appreciated heer for that.
Jesus at work!
Many things were simply falling into place today…The veteran is getting overwhelmed, i could see it. It’s a fine line to walk.
Well…..BIG NEWS BIG BIG NEWS!!!
The manager told us she had two units available……
FREE!! Free with a catch…just a little fixing up being mandatory.
FREE???? I about passed out! I was excited beyond words!
HOLY CRAP!!! WHAAAAAAT!!!???? Here in this area of Florida they do that alot, discounting mobile homes at greatly reduced prices, the lowest we have seen was $250 and that was in the park we live in ourselves.
He will have to pay lot rent, water and trash pu. But the place will be his and he can do this. Basically he is spending the same currently and doesn’t have a bed to sleep in or a place to shower for 2-3 weeks out of the month.
The homeless Veteran i was with couldn’t believe it…..He could possibly have literally His OWN place?
Remember……41-42 years homeless….the thought overwhelmed him….
He is scared that all his money will be gone….but it wont. It will be tight yes.
But…it will be just like it is now for him except for one major difference….he will have a fun and safe roof over his head for the full month, every month!
No more motels, no more sleeping on the streets.
IF IF, he chooses to go through with it.
After i dropped him off at 4:00pm i had advised him to make the necessary calls to the organization who will help with the deposit and Electricity and ask them if they would help him with the $50 Application fee as we/STA do not have the funds.
Ten minutes later he called me and i could hear in his voice he was severely overwhelmed from everything. He told me he could pick up the check tomorrow for the $50 application fee and they will also help him with the deposit, electricity and one months lot rent, maybe even two!!!!
This 6 year United States Army Combat Veteran of the Vietnam war was so overwhelmed he could barely talk.
I was bouncing off the walls in our Mobile Crisis Outreach van! :-))!
So tomorrow morning i will pick him up at 8:15am and drive 25 miles to St. Petersburg, FL to pick up the check for his assistance, drive back and take him to the mobile home park to fill out the parks application.
SO, NO….it is not a sure thing yet….he still must be approved….
Thankfully he does not have any criminal record. He does not drink or use drugs…never has for personal reasons and his christian beliefs.
So, please say a prayer everything goes well tomorrow.
I believe it will. Jehovah God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ Willing…
I pray it be their Will.
NOW…..for the other part!
IF he gets this place STA would like to raise enough funds to fix up this FREE Fixer Upper.
STA would like to raise $3000.00 (100% every penny will go to his needs) for this homeless U.S. Army Veteran to help him with: 1) To make repairs and cosmetic improvements to his mobile home which are required by the park owners 2) Purchase used furnishings 3) Purchase a used stove and refrigerator 4) Purchase a used washer and dryer 5) Purchase some carpet
Separately if you would like to Donate to STA to help us cover gasoline costs in our Mobile crisis Outreach van and other operating costs you may do that also.
When you make a Donation tonight please place a note of ”Veterans Home” for him…. or for STA place a note of “STA OPS”.
Thank you All Very Much for taking the time to read and Donate.
Please make a donation of any amount. It ALL adds up together.
(PAYPAL SECURE & Tax deductible under the 501c3 Tax Code)