Sometimes there are events and stories in our lives that make a difference and validate every struggle thrown in our path. Recently, The Journey Home (TJH) of Winchester Indiana experienced one of those events and stories. Meet Dwayne White, a proud Veteran, homeless, and a resident at The Journey Home transitioning into permanent housing. When TJH received a call from the community recently about a spousal dependent of a Korean War Veteran, Dwayne asked if he could help.
On the next visit to the home of this widow in which we delivered food, Nila Cones, TJH Community Outreach Case Manager, invited Dwayne to join her. This was a very special visit, in that the elderly woman lives alone and struggles from day to day to make ends meet. The social isolation and hardship related to COVID-19 has made her struggles even that much more difficult, as she too often shares her food with others in need. The food being provided by TJH would go a long way of easing her burdens. While in the home, Ms. Cones and Dwayne learned that this widow has been unable to take a shower and only a washcloth bath for nearly 3 years due to plumbing problems because she had no means to make the repairs. Dwayne is an experienced tradesman. Knowing he could fix the problem, and her not having the ability to afford the repairs, Dwayne just couldn’t refuse the opportunity to offer her his help.
With the support of our community, TJH was able to provide the parts and supplies needed. Dwayne volunteered his time and talents over a three-day period to repair the plumbing issues of this widow, a spouse of a Korean War Veteran. He has refused every offer of payment, but instead states, “No, I do not want it. She is a widow of a Veteran. I can help and I want to do it.” It is through these selfless acts of care and concern for others, that makes our Veterans special. Dwayne’s love for Country and others continues to drive much of who he is.
Despite the fact that many Veterans at TJH are homeless, struggling with addiction and often fall short in defeating this battle, and often feel alone and rejected, their desire to serve others remains strong; just like in their dedicated military service for us! For the community that is always there for TJH and for our Veterans, we want to share this story as an example of being there for you as well. To our community and supporters, thank you for your selfless acts that help our Veterans in their journey to “end homelessness.”