WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Veterans who were once homeless now have a place to call their own.
Whole Man Ministries of NC Inc., a local ministry aimed at fighting veteran homelessness, has provided permanent housing for homeless veterans.
In 2012, the group, along with many other nonprofit organizations, helped restore five homes on Cameron Avenue and 16th Street in Winston-Salem. They took old boarded up and dilapidated homes and restored them back to their full luster.
“As soon as we get one done a veteran can move in and that’s what our mindset was and now today we just look at this right here and just smile and say, hey, you know, what a success,” said Rev. Kenneth Holly, with Whole Man Ministries of NC.
Kenneth Weldon is one of the recipients. He’s lived there for three years now, but before he spent 12 years living in the street.
“It`s nothing like being able to turn the key open the door and you know just be yourself,” Weldon said.
He shared with FOX8 there are several factors on why and how veterans ended up with nowhere to go. Some factors include broken relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, and not being able to adjust to civilian life.
“You’re accustomed to camaraderie, you’re accustomed to order. And you want to do things right but some of us like myself have had problems in the past dealing with that structure,” Weldon said.
Weldon wants to encourage other veterans that they too can get out of homelessness.
“Believe that it is possible. Homelessness is not permanency,” Weldon said.
The ministry plans to expand in the open lot next to the first phase of the Cameron Avenue homes.