San Bernardino Homeless Veteran Surprised with Furnished Home
San Bernardino, CA – Harold will not sleep at Perris Hill Park tonight, instead he’ll sleep in his own home in San Bernardino. Harold is a 71-year old Vietnam War veteran who served in the United States Army. He became homeless three years ago after his son passed away. Between sleeping in shelters and the local park, Harold was losing hope of having a home again.
Partners came together to assist in providing housing. In October, he enrolled in the Supportive Services for Veterans Program operated locally by Knowledge and Education for Your Success (KEYS), an affiliate of the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB). Through the SSVF program, KEYS provides case management services, housing navigation and financial assistance with expenses such as rent, utility fees, security deposits, moving costs, and so forth.
Harold qualified for permanent housing assistance through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program administered by the Housing Authority. While the Housing Authority provides rental assistance, the Veteran’s Administration offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers.
Two days later he received the keys to his new home. As he turned the keys to his new home, with a new winter wreath on the door, he was welcomed by a modestly furnished home, a surprise he was not expecting.
“Staff came together and chipped in to make sure he had the basic furniture and necessities in his new home – including a Christmas tree. We are so grateful for his service to our Country, this was the least we could do,” said Julie Burnette, Program Manager for KEYS. Aside from staff contributions, Lucky Buy Appliances in San Bernardino also donated and delivered a sofa, coffee table, and a dining table with two chairs.
HACSB and KEYS have made a great strategic partnership in supporting and providing assistance to our county’s homeless veteran population and together have contributed to reducing the number of homeless veterans.