A 72-year-old veteran moves home with 100 K Homes

Posted November 16, 2012

By Jake Maguire of 100 K Homes

Calvin, a 72-year-old homeless veteran, lived on the streets of Bethesda. MD for decades. Suffering from heart disease, liver disease and chronic frostbite, research shows that Calvin was unusually vulnerable to death, yet somehow, he continued to beat the odds.

Last year, volunteers with Bethesda Cares, the organization leading the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Bethesda, identified Calvin as vulnerable and in urgent need of housing. Since then, a team has worked tirelessly to help this man who served his country move into a home of his own.

Recently, that work paid off when the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Calvin a special veterans housing voucher. With the help of Bethesda Cares and another local group, Pathways to Housing, he moved into his own permanent apartment and finally broke the vicious cycle of homelessness.

Nationally, more than 60,000 veterans like Calvin continue to sleep on our streets on any given night. The good news is that number has fallen dramatically in recent years, but the work ahead remains significant. The President has committed to ending veteran homelessness by 2015, and with the right combination of housing and basic supportive services, that goal is achievable.
Since May, the 100,000 Homes Campaign and its partners at the Department of Veterans Affairs have helped U.S. communities find permanent homes for more than 5,000 homeless veterans.
Susan Kirk, Executive Director Bethesda Cares, sums up this sense of possibility: “When I came to Bethesda Cares Inc. sixteen years ago, Calvin was a long established fixture in the community. To see him with the key and the shocked, happy, “is this for real?” look on his face is amazing. To say that we are almost as happy as he is would be mild. We’re ecstatic!”

Welcome home Calvin!