Give & Take: Homes for the Brave
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, it is estimated that over 35,000 veterans have experienced homelessness in 2019 and only half are able to find shelter. To help, many organizations have taken action within their communities to provide hospitality to the brave men and women who have devoted their time to serving our country.
Homes of the Brave, located in Bridgeport Connecticut, is one of these organizations. Homes of the Brave provides housing, vocational training, and life skills coaching to help these individuals leave homelessness behind. The non-profit operates four programs within the Connecticut area: Homes for the Brave, Waldorf House, Veterans Service Center and Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes. The largest of the facilities is dedicated to serving male veterans and offers a program for volunteers to provide, cook and serve a meal to the current residents, ranging anywhere from 25–40 men.
Around Thanksgiving, Prosek’s Connecticut office decided to come together for this initiative. After deciding on a pasta dinner for our event, we collected two donation boxes filled with enough pasta and sauce to feed the 40 men attending dinner on our event date, as well as help stock their pantry for the busy holiday season.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the Homes for the Brave CEO, who generously gave us a tour of the facility. He discussed how their computer room helped the residents with learning technological skills and updating resumes and he shared more information on their numerous programs ranging from psychiatric care, job opportunities and even a stock room of clothing.
As we prepared the meal, several men came through the kitchen to ask if we needed help and to ask about Prosek. Conversations were had by all throughout the night regarding their time in the military, the holidays, their families and even their goals for the future. Every man who came to dinner was incredible appreciative for our time and reminded us how crucial it is that they continue to recruit volunteers to keep their system running smoothly.
The Homes of the Brave vision statement is as follows: To provide a model to enable homeless men, women and their families, especially those who have served our country, to attain safe, affordable housing, meaningful life activity and a livable income so that they may return to a productive and meaningful life. This statement embodies their goal to put an end to veteran homelessness once and for all.
In the midst of the recent holiday season and start to the new year, this Give Back initiative was very impactful in reminding us how even the smallest acts of kindness such as serving someone a meal or asking about their experiences can go a very long way. It was truly an amazing experience to see the Prosek CT team come together for such an amazing cause, and I hope to bring this spirit of openness and connection forward in both my work and personal life.
If you are interested in donating or learning more about this organization, please head over to https://www.homesforthebrave.org/ to learn how you can participate.