Tony served in the U.S. Army from 1984-1991, and was stationed in Both Japan and Germany. “Life was a very confusing time for me when I returned”, recalls Tony. Tony then went on to become a corrections officer for many years after he returned from the Army, but says the stress of the job built up, and life became unmanageable. As a result, Tony was no longer able to continue working or maintain stable housing, and he became homeless.
Tony first learned about services for veterans in 1997. He stated that at that time, resources were not openly advertised and there was a stigma associated with mental health issues, so all information he received was word of mouth. He struggled with depression and anxiety for many years.
Tony was living in “The Dom”-the Veterans Domiciliary-last year when he attended a “Home for the Holidays” open-house event at EDEN’s Buckeye Square Permanent Supportive Housing building (PSH). He visited the property and really liked it, so he took the initiative to speak with the Property Manager, Roberto. Tony was provided with detailed information, and was referred to a VA Case Manager. Since the community’s newest PSH complex would be housing 25 veterans, the Case Manager met with Tony the next day, and began the process of securing Tony a home there.
On January 17, 2017, Tony moved into the Commons at West Village. He says he grew up on the west-side, and feels comfortable in the area. “I feel safe and secure and can sleep at night” he says, quietly, while looking around his well-kept apartment.
Tony recently secured a bike to help him exercise and reduce back pain. He says he talks about his new apartment all the time to anyone who asks. People that knew him before his move to his apartment tell Tony that “they see the change in me since I’ve lived here.”
Tony credits Reva, Sharon and Annabella from the VA, who helped him find out about EDEN properties, and helped him move out of the Domiciliary and into his new home. He is also grateful to the property manager, Julie, and all of the staff at the Commons of West Village, because he knows that “they are right down the hall if I need them. That is very important for someone like me. I am able to close my door, and have my own space and my solitude, but I know that I am also part of a community right outside that door, which makes me feel safe.”