BRIDGEPORT - State officials say close to 1,000 military veterans have returned to Connecticut after serving our country only to find themselves without homes or jobs, but a new organization is working to change that.
For more than a year, Walter Weaber spent most of his days in the lounge of Homes for the Brave, a shelter for homeless veterans. Weaber was an Army engineer who served in the Vietnam War. When he returned home, he got divorced, lived on the streets for eight years and eventually found himself living in a shelter. Now, he has been dealt a new hand.
"I'm getting an apartment and I haven't had an apartment in a long time," says Weaber.
Veterans Helping Veterans is the Connecticut organization that is making Weaber's dreams come true. A crew comprised of jobless veterans worked to renovate Weaber's new apartment. The organization hires jobless veterans to do handiwork and, in turn, allows veterans to live in the rehabbed apartments.
"Working with my hands, doing something permanent, something people can appreciate," says Leeland, a veteran and handyman with the organization, "I get a lot of satisfaction out of it."
For Weaber, the apartment is more than a new place. It is finally light at the end of a long tunnel that stretches back to his time in Vietnam.
Veterans Helping Veterans says a Veterans Affairs housing program pays the rent for the properties.