Housewarming for Al

Housewarming! 

For Al !!

Al Jordan, our homeless veteran friend moved into veteran’s transitional housing on April 1, 2008.  He is still excited.   Pat Shankle of Georgia Home Staging with the help of husband Scott and friends staged his new apartment.  That means she selected the furnishings from the warehouse of MUST Ministries, added other stuff such as pictures, decorations, pillows, kitchen and dining room stuff and then professionally decorated the entire apartment – living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining room.   Pat does this for a living, normally staging houses for sale in order to make them more attractive, leading to quicker sale.   She also staged a home for our last Habitat homeowner, Joi.  Pat has said she is negotiating with MUST to stage a number of additional apartments as part of her homeless ministry.  Admire her work in the following pictures.

Als Apartment entry

Entry to Al’s new apartment.

Some of Als friends from our church gave him a housewarming dinner last night (April 3).   It was a great event for Al and his new housemate, Danny.  

Danny, Pat, Al

Danny McDaniel, Pat Shankle, Al Jordan

The food was catered by our Wednesday night dinner food experts.  It was GREAT eating.

Shrimp!  Chicken was also avialable

Shrimp!  Bacon and green beans.  Chicken was also available.  Desert consisted of ice cream with hot fudge.

Here are a few pictures of Als apartment taken while he gave us the grand tour:

Als Bedroom

Als Bedroom

Car tag

Prized car tag in window! for when he can afford a car.  Link to Macland Presbyterian

Bedroom

Another view of Al’s bedroom. 

Kitchen

Kitchen.  The fridge is opposite the stove.  Yes that is a coffee grinder in the far left corner and bags of Starbucks (gifts) on the shelf.

Dining room

Dining nook and lighting

Now to the gifts and people.  Al’s guests came with gifts ranging from DVD players to $50 gift cards and more than a few misty moments as Al opened them and read the cards.   Here are a few photos:

Ladies and Al

As ususal, all the ladies sat on one side of the room and the gents on the other.  And yes, Al is working with a hankie at the moment.

Cross

Admiring the Cross

Al with Pastor Ray Jones III

Our Pastor, Ray Jones III with Al. 

Towels

More gifts, in this case towels and other bathroom supplies

Scott Shankle

Pat’s husband Scott.

Jeff Staka

Jeff Straka.   You may remember him from our meeting with the Police Chief in an earlier blog.

I think we were all as pleased as Jeff appears to be in this photo with the outcome of our first venture into the homeless world.    Al and Danny seemed pleased too.   Although there are not many pictures of Danny here, he was not left out of the festivities and joined in our meal and prayers as well as shared in the joy of the moment for Al.

Danny and Al seem to be very comfortable house mates and will get along well together.  Danny, also a veteran in the program, has a car and has offered to drive Al to our Wednesday night dinner and to Church.  Looks like we have made a new friend there as well.  Danny’s is a different story where he once was married to the daughter of one of the biggest landowners in this area and now struggling to climb out of homelessness.

We also met a bear of a man, Jon who came in to check the refrigerator.  He is also a veteran, lives on the property and maintains/repairs anything that needs fixing.  This is a 20 unit complex entirely devoted to transitional housing for homeless veterans.   With two men to a unit, 40 veterans are served.  Jon said he is enrolled in the STEP program.   Nether Danny nor Al are enrolled in treatment programs, though they are required to find and keep jobs and eventually work their way out of the housing.

Part of the challange is this:  The entire complex is surrounded by woods habitated by other homeless men, somewhat envious of their neighbors.   The area is a high crime area including drugs.   Part of Jon’s job is to keep the area clear of anyone not residents of the complex.   It seems to be working.  I found the complex clean and nicely kept. 

I was well pleased with the housing situation.   This complex is funded by HUD and run by MUST ministries with grants from HUD.   Something just feels right about this situation.

Slide Show

Here is a slideshow with includes all of the pictures taken by me at the dinner, 47 in all.  Enjoy

Oldtimer

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6 responses to “Housewarming for Al

  1. Very nice! And looking at the front of the apartment, looks like there’s room for a patio tomato or two…

  2. 300,000 more to go.

  3. Hi,
    I am Jon, the one that came to fix the refrigerator on the night of this celebration.
    It is now the 2nd of Dec. 2008. Just an update about Al and Danny.
    Al got a little s-15 gmc pick-up truck and has taken great pride in it. He has painted it and redone all the molding as well as the interior. This vehicle has been an incredible boon for Al and you know where that tag is … on the front bumper of his truck.
    Danny has squared away alot of problems that were following him. He has moved to another apartment in the program and has custody of his 16 year old son now. Danny has also gone to work for a company that he worked for before he became homeless.
    Just wanted to let people know that this Vet. program with M.U.S.T. ministries is and does work.
    As for you Oldtimer … There are no words to describe how wonderful your church has been to this veterans supportive housing program! I have met many of your “flock” and you should all be proud of each other!
    It is true that I am a bear of a man and I still have that “homeless look” about me. But all of the people that I have met from your church look me in the eye and give me a smile, a hand shake or a hug. I have been treated like a man and not like a “homeless man”.
    Then I find your site and am blown away at how someone (you) can care so much about someone like me … a homeless vet … with out knowing me personally has moved me to tears.
    I want to say thank you to your church Macland Presbyterian for all their help with Al and Danny and for the many things that they have done for this program!
    I want to thank you personally for your compassion and time that you put in on the subject of “Homeless Vets”

    Thank you!
    Jon Grable

  4. Thanks, Jon

    I’ve fixed the spelling of your name – Jon, not John. Thanks so much for the update.

    The truck that Al has came from one of Macland Presbyterian’s staff. We all love Al.

    I’m looking forward to our joint Christmas Party on December 14th. See you there!

    Jim Tabb aka Oldtimer

  5. Thanks for all you do in HIS NAME- JESUS! God sees even the sparrow fall! Just as he sees any of his flock suffer. He sends many angels are way to lend a helping hand!

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