60-year-old former Marine Corps veteran transitions from My Brother’s Keeper shelter
Featured photo U.S. Veteran Todd Jones and George Cannon is past commander of DAV Chapter 3 Written by Taya Terry, with photos by Tanya Terry, Dr. Marsay Wells-Strozier Ed. D., director of operations for CHEA and A local veteran who was recently homeless was placed into permanent housing through CHEA’s...
Featured photo U.S. Veteran Todd Jones and George Cannon is past commander of DAV Chapter 3
Written by Taya Terry, with photos by Tanya Terry, Dr. Marsay Wells-Strozier Ed. D., director of operations for CHEA and
A local veteran who was recently homeless was placed into permanent housing through CHEA’s “Homes for Heroes Program.” The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) was there to celebrate the momentous occasion, bringing with them furniture, food and other needed items. The Courier talked to the 60-year-old former Marine.
Jones was part of the Marine Corps in 1981 and was honorably discharged.
One thing Jones said he considered a challenge in life was staying married. He was married for about five years and regrets not being able to raise any of his children. He remembers trying hard to get off welfare and to make money. Jones said his oldest daughter just turned 39. He has three girls by his ex-wife and a son by his ex-girlfriend. Jones said he is trying to find all his children at this time.
“Life is a challenge,” said U.S. Veteran Todd Jones. “There’s challenges every day.”
He found out about CHEA’s “Homes for Heroes Program” while living at My Brother’s Keepers homeless shelter.
Jones stated he fit the criteria for the program.
He receives Social Security and is considered both mentally and physically disabled.
“In 1968, my mom rolled a car rolled a car, and everybody ended up on top of me,” said Jones. “My mom weighed about 200 pounds I think. So, it made my spine grow crooked.”
Jones said this happened on the way to his 5th birthday party, and the injury has become worse over time.
Jones said although he is still going through a lot, he was “happy” and “glad” to be part of CHEA’s “Homes for Heroes Program.”
Jones also said he was just recently introduced to the DAV, and he didn’t expect to get the furniture and other items from them as soon as he did.
According to Dr. Marsay Wells-Strozier Ed. D., director of operations for CHEA, “Homes for Heroes” is made possible through the use of HUD Vash Vouchers, a Section 8 voucher for a veteran. A HUD inspection is done on all the homes used for the program. CHEA also interviews the veterans beforehand.
“We work with veterans who are what we call social injustice,” said Wells-Strozier. “They are social injustice because there is some type of barrier that prohibits them from having a home or apartment of their own. So, we try to figure out ‘what is that barrier?’ and ask ‘is there something we can do to help alleviate it?’ Some of our veterans have bad credit. Some have a criminal history. It depends on what that criminal history is. As long as there is no eviction, we’ll accept that veteran.”
According to Wells-Strozier, each veteran has a percentage they must pay, and there is a percentage the Flint Housing Commission through HUD pays so the veteran can pay their monthly rent.
Well-Stozier said helping Jones get into permanent housing was a “blessing” for CHEA as well as for Jones.
George Cannon is past commander of DAV Chapter 3 in Burton, which is located at 4270 E. Bristol.
Cannon said the DAV decided to partner with CHEA for the program after a representative from CHEA did a presentation where she talked about Homes for Heroes Program.
Cannon said it felt “joyful” to be able to assist Jones by bringing him items he needed.
Cannon said his chapter also helps all veterans and their families with resources and rides to the hospitals in Ann Arbor and Saginaw at no charge. They are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and provide transportation services five days a week when possible. Their phone number is 810-742-9220, with service officers being available 810-743-2322.
For more information on CHEA, visit chea.org.