CT nonprofit helps homeless veterans find success - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Keeping the Promise

CT nonprofit helps homeless veterans find success

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Homes for the Brave helps homeless veterans Homes for the Brave helps homeless veterans

As part of a new series called “Keeping the Promise,” The Eyewitness News I-Team hopes to expose issues facing veterans in Connecticut and provide a platform to those offering help.

There are homeless veterans around the state, but the I-Team was able to find an organization that is charged with helping those veterans in need.

Alex Orum, a Griswold native, served in the United States Army from 2004 to 2006 and when he returned home he had just enough to pay one month's rent.

He had no plan and he had a hard time making the transition back to being a “regular guy.”

“I was used to being in the military and we were the ones asking the questions and when we did we had a gun pointed at your head,” Orum said.

It said it was an understatement to say job interviews didn't go well and things began to get worse and worse.

He said he ended up being homeless because of “a lot of bad decision making on my part.”

It was a referral at the Veterans Affairs that let Orum to Homes for the Brave, a nonprofit that offers transitional housing for 37 homeless veterans.

From the moment he walked in the door, he said he got a bed, meals and counseling on everything from cutting back on drinking to the importance of taking his medicine regularly.

“I forgot how good it felt to take a shower, and eat a meal as soon as you wake up, I forgot how good that felt,” Orum said. “I was only here for two months, two two-and-a-half months, but the things I learned here I don't think I could have learned anywhere else.”

During a short time, Orum said he had time to figure things out. He didn't have to stress over a place to rest, or worry where his next meal would come from.

He was surrounded by positive people and at employment classes he was told over and over “You are going to get a job,” and he did.

The house is like a family, and at the weekly meetings the success builds on itself.

“You should come here on a Wednesday. It's like a party at these house meetings,” with people sharing their success stories of getting jobs and homes.

Orum has his own place and is working toward receiving an associate's degree.

After that he hopes to get a bachelor's degree and wants to find a job teaching adult literacy classes.

He said that one extra-long shower washed away his demons and made that future to help others, possible.

As many as one in four homeless people in America have served the country and while the numbers are getting better, but there is still a need.

For more information on Homes for the Brave, click here.

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  • Keeping the Promise

    Connecticut residents who served their country honorably deserve not just our respect and appreciation, but all the benefits due to them from our government.  They served their country and their country must kept their promise to them.   If you are a veteran – or are aware of a veteran – who is not getting the benefits entitled to him/her, we would like to help.  Fill out the form below and we will look into it. 

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