Could Cheyenne’s Program for Homeless Vets Work Here?

As many people comment here on A News Cafe.com about what others are doing or should be doing about the homeless situation, I will tell about what we are doing for our homeless veterans here in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

My wife and I are proud to say we’ve played a small part in this program.
man in hat

Community Action of Laramie County operates a homeless shelter in south Cheyenne for military veterans. VFW Post 11453 donated $10,000, and AMVETS Post 10 donated $11,000. Much of the money came from raffles.

This money was used to remodel and refurbish 16 apartments in Cheyenne for homeless vets.  Likewise, in Fort Collins, the veteran organizations readied 20 apartments for homeless veterans.
kitchen table
As many of these veterans carried everything they owned in duffel bags or shopping carts, the apartments were furnished for them to move in.  Furniture was donated, mostly from Goodwill.  Bedding and pillows and linen were donated by local hotels as they upgraded their own supplies.
Finding decent silverware and kitchen utensils seemed a problem.  That is where my wife and I did our small part.  As we hunted for antiques at auctions and garage sales, we also looked for decent silverware and utensils.  We gave the items to our friend Diane, who is president of the VFW Post 1881 Ladies Auxiliary who outfits the kitchens here and in Colorado.
forks

It was after I read a particular paragraph in a Wyoming Tribune Eagle story about the homeless veterans housing program that I realized why I help this organization:

“Tristan Jackson is a U.S. Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm and has a 100 percent service-connected disability.  He also has PTSD among other issues.  Ten days ago, after two years living on the streets, he entered his new apartment.  Jackson said, ‘I don’t know how to explain it.  Have you ever been so worried about something and all of a sudden it’s lifted off you?  It felt like a cross I’d carried for two years was taken off my shoulders.  I felt like I could breathe, like I was somewhere safe’.”

Since moving from Shasta County to Cheyenne my wife and I had donated many items to the VFW, and as they knew we attend auctions they asked for certain items to outfit veterans’ own kitchens, such as a small crock pot, or grill, or other items.  When they needed silverware for these apartments, they contacted us.

Many  say that veterans should help their own, but I am not a veteran, and the recipients will never know I helped. So why do I help?

I never really thought much about it, because it was such a small deal.  But then I read the article about Mr. Jackson and thought, “I helped him.”

People like Tristan Jackson are why my wife and I do what we can for this very important cause.

And then I wondered: If this program could work in Cheyenne, maybe it could work in Redding, too.

Bruce Vojtecky lived in Shasta County for 40 years, the last 22 of which were in Anderson.  His wife is from Hayfork and has numerous relatives throughout Shasta and Trinity counties.  Bruce worked as a custodian for the Shasta Union High School District until his 2006 retirement, which is when he left the area for Cheyenne, Wyoming, to be near grandchildren. He and his wife spend their time to auctions and garage sales.  He claims addictions to – in no particular order – auctions, garage sales and haunted places.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar name says:

    What you are doing is wonderful.  I am sure that it would work in Redding, or just about anywhere.  The Veterans surely deserve help from those that are able to contribute in any small way.  What percentage of the homeless are Veterans?

  2. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Thank you for your efforts.

  3. Avatar Ginny says:

    Volunteering is an admirable thing to do.  If more people did some kind of volunteering, there is less need for government to take over our lives.  And, look what this couple has helped accomplish in their volunteering!  Cheers to them and all volunteers!

     
    Thank you for touching other people lives!

  4. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    I know there are some services the VA offers to homeless vets here in Shasta County. There are housing subsidies available, for vets who qualify. I do not know the level of these services, but I will find out.

  5. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Sounds like a wonderful program.  Yes, I think it might work in Redding. The VFW could try to get it started and go from there. Cheyenne sounds  like a good place to be and people there are working hard to help the vets.

  6. Avatar Sally says:

    What a wonderful story and so gratifying to learn there are individuals like this couple who just give from their heart!

  7. Avatar Dottie Smith says:

    I think this is a great program.  Something I would be willing to work on.  The big question is, how do you get it off the ground?

     

  8. Avatar cheyenne says:

    With the success of finding items for Community Action, I am now seeking items for the following homeless groups.

    Comea House-the main Cheyenne homeless center with a new triple size free clinic.

    Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless-they operate the only homeless day center in Cheyenne with access to showers and laundry.

    NEEDS-they have a stock of clothes that the homeless or low income can use for dressing up for job interviews.

    St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Pantry-they furnish food and meals to the homeless.

    Climb Wyoming-they have classes for single mothers to train for new careers, welding and CDL driving among them, and have acess to aid in any addictions.

    Wish me luck.

     

  9. Avatar Richard says:

    Bruce,

    I have long enjoyed your thoughtful comments on the RS site, and found this article in anewscafe to be informative and inspirational. It is so good to see a sound plan for addressing this segment of the homeless population yield such good results. Thank you for your efforts and for taking the time to share your experience in Cheyenne.

  10. Avatar Concerned says:

    I do believe Tristan was born in 75. Wasn’t desert storm 90 to 91? He wasn’t even 18 during the war. Hmmmmmmm!