Ten years of homelessness ended this week when Lanny moved into his new home.
Lanny, a US Air Force veteran, might be the sweetest, kindest man any of us has had the pleasure of working with, but getting him into housing has been especially difficult.
Outreach Case Manager, Mark Horvath, has worked with Lanny for the last few years, though up until recently, Lanny was never quite ready to endure the long process of finding a home. Missed appointments, frequent visits to the hospital and emergency room, and depression all took their toll on the housing opportunities and options that continually fell through.
I can’t tell you why, but in the last month Lanny has made a huge turn around. He checks in, stops by the office and instead of avoiding case managers when he has appointment, he seeks them out. Maybe it was Mark’s persistence and that fact that he has never lost hope in housing Lanny, or maybe it was that watching his ‘street peers’ finally moving into housing themselves.
After only two days housed, it’s almost as if he’s a different person. He told Mark, that moving in has “made him feel human again”.
Of course, that has a lot to do with the fact that Lanny didn’t move into an empty apartment.
After 10 years on the streets, Lanny had zero household items. He carries a small bag and backpack; just enough space for a change of clothes and a blanket.
When the reality of Lanny’s move in sank in, Mark started raising funds for apartment furnishings through his own non profit, InvisiblePeople.tv. Through Twitter, Mark (@hardlynormal) and InvisiblePeople.tv raised $1000 that has been well spent getting Lanny settled. Thanks to them, Lanny has bed sheets, a shower curtain, kitchen towels and groceries, along with a number of other necessities that he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to get.
We couldn’t have made Lanny’s move-in such a success without all of the generous donations. You turned and empty apartment into a home. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, especially Mark and InvisiblePeople.tv and all of their friends who donated to Lanny. Lanny is happy, safe and HOME!