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.
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 McDaniel, Pat Shankle, Al Jordan
The food was catered by our Wednesday night dinner food experts. It was GREAT eating.
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:
Prized car tag in window! for when he can afford a car. Link to Macland Presbyterian
Another view of Al’s bedroom.
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 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:
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.
Admiring the Cross
Our Pastor, Ray Jones III with Al.
More gifts, in this case towels and other bathroom supplies
Pat’s husband Scott.
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.
Here is a slideshow with includes all of the pictures taken by me at the dinner, 47 in all. Enjoy