Lives at Onizuka Crossing in Sunnyvale.
After experiencing trauma and considerable loss, a veteran gets a second chance at life thanks to affordable housing.
Ron is a longtime Bay Area resident and Vietnam veteran. After many years of building a home, family, and way of life for himself, Ron experienced sudden and dramatic change. In 2007, Ron suffered a grievous loss when his wife died which, as is the case with many veterans, triggered some trauma. He started to drink too much, couldn’t keep his job, lost his license, had to sell the house and ruined his credit. Ron became homeless.
His doctor at the Veterans Administration saw what was happening and steered Ron towards the VA’s mental health department. They enrolled him into a transition program for veterans, and he learned about HUD VASH housing assistance. During this time he found a rooming house where he lived for two and a half years waiting to find a permanent home.
Ron and his counselors learned of a new affordable housing community under construction in Sunnyvale. Onizuka Crossing has six designated apartments for homeless veterans, and through the HUD VASH housing assistance program, Ron was able to move into the community.
Since moving into permanent housing at Onizuka Crossing, Ron has started to take up square-dancing again, his former hobby – even teaching some of the youth residents. He is active in his church community, attends therapy groups designated for veterans, and meets with a case manager onsite to ensure he keeps his successes going.
“Everything I’m doing now is a win,” says Ron. “And it’s due to MidPen giving me a second chance – living here at Onizuka Crossing. It leaves the door open to a second chance in life at age 64. My hope is that other veterans like me get this opportunity.”