Harry, Army Veteran, had experienced homelessness for over 3 years when he was permanently housed by ECHO’s Veteran Services team in 2018.
Before he had a home of his own, the Veteran mostly slept in a tent or would ride the bus to sleep and cool off when the weather was intolerably hot. He relied on kind strangers to share their bagged lunches with him.
A Coast RTA bus driver connected Harry with ECHO’s Veteran Intake Coordinator, John Mention. Mr. Mention got the Veteran into emergency shelter and enrolled him ECHO’s Rapid Rehousing program for Veterans. Each Morning, Harry would meet Mr. Mention outside the shelter to smoke a cigarette, and let him know that he was doing everything he was supposed to and couldn’t wait to move into his “condo.”
Fast forward two years, when Harry unexpectedly ran into Case Manager, Kim, who happened to be meeting with Harry’s new neighbor, another Veteran working with ECHO.
Harry was so excited to see Kim, and proudly uncovered his two mopeds (he called them Harleys). Then he showed her his kitchen…and gratefully shared that the kitchen is where he has his cup of coffee each morning, and smokes a cigarette to honor John Mention and ECHO – who helped him get his very own apartment (that he still calls his “condo”).
Way to go, Harry!