A story from Homeward Bound's newsletter:
Wesley’s mother Tammy got pregnant at 16 and was totally unprepared to be a parent. His father was an alcoholic and not present for most of Wesley’s life. Tammy loved her son and took on the role of both mom and dad as best she could, but it was really hard.
Wesley went through tough times growing up and joined the military when he was 19 to try to find a better way of life and save some money for college. During his service, he herniated a muscle in his leg and had to be discharged.
Wesley struggled to make ends meet and a few years later he and his girlfriend had a son. They tried to make things work but eventually split and his girlfriend moved in with a man convicted of assault on a child. This scared Wesley. More than anything he wanted to give his son a safe and proper home but lacking the resources, Wesley became homeless. He stayed with friends, slept in his mother’s truck for a while and then he contacted Homeward Bound.
Wesley was assigned to Janie Cole and said she was super supportive. He stayed in a transitional shelter for a while and four months later he had a home. Recently, during United Way's Days of Impact, two staff from BB&T and three from United Way moved Wesley into a mobile home in Arden.
“I’ve never lived on my own and it’s a little scary, admitted Wesley. “But also exciting!” He goes to court next week for a custody hearing and he now has a real chance of giving his son a good home. Your support helps Veterans like Wesley move from homelessness to safe and secure housing. In the last year, Homeward Bound housed 230 individuals, 68 of whom were veterans. We have housed more than 1,830 of our homeless neighbors and 89% have not returned to homelessness.
Finding homes for people experiencing homelessness benefits everyone - the individual secures their most basic need and community costs decrease dramatically. When measuring hospital visits for our clients, reviewing a year before they were housed and a year after, Mission Heath's data shows a 52% drop in emergency department visits and 58% fewer days spent in the hospital.
Your support has a tremendous impact on the health of our community. Homeward Bound could not do this important work without you!
The preceding story was published by our good friends at Homeward Bound who work hard to e
nsure that every person, regardless of their situation, has a roof over their head. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is proud to include several Homeward Bound programs among those that we support financially and with volunteer power.