Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Humberto, a new resident of Veterans Park in Pomona, served in the United States Marine Corps. After bravely serving our nation for seven years, Humberto, like so many of our nation’s veterans, faced challenges in reacclimating to civilian life and eventually found himself living on the streets. Before moving into Veterans’ Park, Humberto had been unhoused in East LA for more than twenty years.
Now, while standing in his new brand-new apartment, Humberto recently shared, “I feel like I reached home.”
At the newly opened Veterans Park, Humberto has found a safe and supportive place to call home. Living among other veterans, with access to an incredible onsite team to provide personalized support and resources, Humberto said he’s feeling motivated to “start a new life.”
“And that’s what I’m going to do,” he added.
He’s begun setting goals to help guide this new era in his life. His top priority is to get help for his persistent health issues, including back and knee problems.
“As he’s been here, we’ve noticed that he has excelled so much and he has come such a long way just with his presence, his health, everything,” said Veterans Park Community Manager Becky Bolton. “He’s really taken advantage of our resources that we provide here at Veterans Park.”
At the community, veterans and their families have access to a VA Center staffed by VA caseworkers, an afterschool program in a spacious teen lounge, and a wide array of other personalized services provided by Hope through Housing’s onsite Services Coordinator. Humberto is particularly looking forward to assistance with managing his finances and with transportation outside of the neighborhood. Humberto feels that Veterans Park is perfectly located for his day-to-day needs, with most places within walking distance from the community. “Everything is nearby. The bank, the bus station, you know, things that I need the services from, they’re close by, so that’s good for me.”
As Humberto begins to recover from the toll that homelessness took on him, he’s equally excited about the new possibilities he has at Veterans Park, like “meeting new people, new friends, starting all over, and maybe having a barbecue once in a while.” (The multiple stainless-steel barbecues in Veterans Park’s beautiful, second-floor courtyard are a popular feature with many new residents).
Humberto has a lot of family in the area and is excited to show off his new home to them. He envisions catching up with loved ones and even watching his nieces and nephews scamper around the new playground in the courtyard at Veterans Park.
He said that the feeling of finally being in his own home again “feels like a real big boost. My family don’t have to worry about me as much, knowing that I’m off the streets.”
“I used to get up in the mornings and I would go and do what I got to do, but then when it was time to wind down the day, I wouldn’t have nowhere to go,” Humberto said. “Now I do, and I look forward to it. I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to stay.”