“Anybody can end up homeless,” Cody Sparks, Senior Support Worker of Freedom House in Kent said, “That’s the thing that I’ve learned here. It’s scary.”
Vernon Bryant was a homeless Navy Veteran with a dream.
“You know I lost my job in January due to an auto accident on the job, and I got evicted,” Bryant said. “I was homeless, sleeping in my car.”
However, it wasn’t the end of the road for Bryant; There was hope right here in Kent, Ohio.
“Freedom House kind of gives me an opportunity to get back on my feet,” He said.
The Freedom House in Kent provides transitional care and opportunity to homeless veterans who served our country.
“My mental health is a whole lot better,” He said. “My moods are a lot better…my attitude, my motivation.”
The house opened in 2004 and has 14 bedrooms available for men to stay in a cozy, supportive environment.
“Veterans I found…we have a different level of pride because we have served our country, so it’s kind of hard.” He said. “The one thing they don’t teach is how to come back home.”
The mission is to provide emergency shelter and supportive services to men who are experiencing a housing crisis. Staff members help with employment, legal aid, and any other assistance Veteran’s could need to get back on their feet.
“My dream is to have an organization where I can take a guy right off the streets and get it him the way together,” Bryant said.
This is a sober environment and men stay in the house for 60-90 days on average. The organization is funded in several ways including Department of Veteran’s Capital Grant and United Way.
“Places like Freedom House… they’re good,” He said. “I believe in them, and I thank God for being here.”
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