A home is the foundation for everything in life. Everything.
For families, veterans, seniors, and youth alike, stable housing is a key element for self-esteem, success at school or work, and overall health. It's also a critical first step toward finding long-term employment, managing chronic illness, maintaining sobriety, engaging with the community, and so much else. One CommonBond resident, Austin, helps demonstrate the impact of a safe, stable place to call home.
When Austin graduated from high school in 1972, he never dreamed he would experience homelessness someday. He joined the military and spent three years in Germany. “I was involved with missiles and nuclear warheads….a lot of stress,” said Austin. He returned to Minnesota with challenges that would grow over the years: post-traumatic stress and major depressive disorder.
Austin went to school to learn HVAC systems, and over the next 30+ years he held down a job with various companies, but ultimately he was laid off. “I held on to my home for as long as I could,” said Austin. “But I lost it in 2012, and that started a domino effect of personal problems.”
Today, Austin and his dog, Dutchess, are residents at CommonBond’s Upper Post Veterans Community – a historic development that is having an important impact on decreasing veteran homelessness in Minnesota. They also volunteer their time at the Veterans Administration visiting VA foster homes, participate in children's reading programs at public libraries, and volunteer with the University of Minnesota's PAWS (Pet Away Worry and Stress) program.
“For the first time in years, I feel at peace. I am in a better place mentally and I love the Upper Post. Everything is so convenient – the Veterans Administration is a couple blocks away and I have a park nearby. I feel like I am home for a long time.”
Austin and Dutchess keep a busy schedule helping others -- it is through these efforts that Austin feels he best helps himself. At the end of a long day, he and Dutchess “sit together in our home realizing we made it through another day and enjoy the beautiful view out the window.”
Here’s how you can
support CommonBond residents like Austin:
Make a gift: Donate on November 16 (Give to the Max Day)
Schedule your donation: It’s simple! Schedule your donation today. This year we're thrilled to announce a generous matching gift from Stonebridge Capital Advisers!
Spread the word: Show your support of CommonBond Communities on Give to the Max Day by adding shareable images and posts on Facebook
Become a volunteer: Contact us at [email protected]