A Marine Makes His Way Back Home

Edward is a proud Marine Corps veteran who served from 1974–1986 as an aviation ordnanceman, rising to the rank of staff sergeant. He loved the Marines, especially the opportunity to travel the world. His favorite port of call was France.

Today, Edward lives at 28 Pier Street in Yonkers, Westhab’s transitional residence for homeless veterans. He came to Westhab from more institutional settings where he found it difficult to thrive. The personal, “homey,” setting at 28 Pier gives him much more of a feeling of freedom along with the comfort and confidence he needs to make progress towards his goals. Recent renovations to the common living space, veterans’ individual units, hallways, and the buildings exterior—courtesy of an $80,000 grant to Westhab from The Home Depot Foundation—have only added to the to the warm and pleasant atmosphere at 28 Pier. The 12 veterans who call 28 Pier home are especially impressed by how much the upgraded energy efficient light fixtures have brightened up their home. Veterans who were there before, during and after the renovations are quick to point out how happy they are to live in such a bright and clean space, noting, “It’s such a big improvement, and it feels like a new building.”

28 Pier is the the only transitional residence for homeless veterans in Westchester County and the greater Hudson Valley region. It is a vital resource where Westhab seeks to provide the right balance of support and autonomy—affording veterans the opportunity to work one-on-one with a Westhab case manager as they build the skills they need to live independently and to fully engage in community life. Edward describes living at 28 Pier as a little bit like the Marines in some ways—the residents look out for each other and are disciplined, but they also have fun. But he quickly adds, “As much as I love it, it’s time to move on.” Edward’s housing search is actively underway, and he looks forward to securing permanent housing in the near future.

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