Volunteers of America Indiana Richard Lugar Safe Haven's New Facility

Published 08/07 2014 02:19PM

Updated 08/07 2014 02:38PM

The Volunteers of America Indiana Richard Lugar Safe Haven is a new facility in Fort Wayne that helps those who served our country.  

It's open to any veteran that is homeless or on the verge of homelessness, get back on their feet.  So far, they have already helped 48 veterans.

"Our goal is to help stabilize their lives."

Any veteran that is homeless can stay at the Volunteers of America Indiana Richard Lugar Safe Haven for up to 6 months.

Lisa Christen is the Regional Program Director and says, "A lot of people who came in originally from living under a bridge true chronic straight homeless folks who are now living in their own apartments and maintaining their own life."

This 25 bed facility helps veterans turn their lives around.  Jesse Dummett, a veteran who has served in the Air Force, says his life has dramatically changed in the past month at the Safe Haven.

"When you're homeless and don't have any kinda place to go to something like this, is just a dream come true."

He plans to be living independently in the next month and is excited about his future.

"It's given me hope and that's the thing I was lacking before."

Roger Manlove has been there since late May.  He says he had been chronically homeless since 2012 and lacked stability in his life before being referred to the facility through the Fort Wayne VA.

"I suffer from depression so it's nice to have somebody to talk to, somebody to listen."

Recently, Roger has gotten back in contact with one of his sons and plans to move in with him soon.

"I've learned that family is a lot more important than it used to be."

Jen Malott a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the VA, says the Safe Haven doesn't require the veterans to have a curfew or go through any sort or treatment programs.

"It's unacceptable for us to have a veteran sleeping on the street."

Malott says there are other facilities in Fort Wayne and the surrounding area where they can place veterans if Safe Haven is full.

"We will never turn a veteran away."

Jen Malott tells WFFT that there are only 20 of these facilities nationwide and Fort Wayne is one of them so we're very lucky to have on here and any veteran interested in the facility should contact the VA Hospital.

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