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All It Took to Get This Homeless Vet an Apartment Was a Poster

March 24, 2014
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All It Took to Get This Homeless Vet an Apartment Was a Poster
David McNew/Getty Images
An Arizona veteran goes from sleeping on the floor of the American Legion to having his own place.

Just because you have a roof over your head doesn’t mean you have a home.

When Army veteran Frank Maryn had trouble finding construction work and then lost his housing, the American Legion in Williams, Arizona took him in. He was allowed to sleep at the Legion in exchange for work that included hanging posters for programs and events. Maryn was thankful for the shelter — but it wasn’t the most comfortable home. Each night after the Legion’s bar closed, Maryn rolled out his sleeping bag on the hard floor. Eventually he got a cushion to sleep on, but the Legion post lacked a key amenity: a shower. One day Maryn hung up a poster that offered him a solution, advertising the Catholic Charities Community Services’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

Maryn told Marissa Freireich of Williams-Grand Canyon News that he didn’t call the SSVF program immediately after seeing the poster. “I was just going, well, I’ll land a full time job here or something and then I’ll just take care of this myself. But then I fell off a roof in November, so that was two months of not doing anything.” Maryn contacted SSVF, who set him up with a caseworker that located him an apartment. He moved in this month.

Catholic Charities received a million-dollar federal grant last October, which funds the SSVF program. Its goal is to end homelessness among veterans by providing them with up to five months rent and getting them on their feet by providing assistance with benefit paperwork and finding employment. They launched the SSVF program in December, and Maryn is the first veteran in Williams that the organization helped find a home.

Maryn told Freireich that he’s happy to be in his own apartment. “I’ve had a bed for two days, and except for when I was visiting somebody or something I’ve been on a floor, so that’s different. It’s nice. And the shower of course is great. I’m content.”

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