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Groups partner to revive affordable housing for homeless veterans

Posted at 6:10 PM, May 19, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — The Family Promise of the Big Bend and the Home Depot Foundation worked to repaint and landscape an apartment community for formerly homeless veterans.

Veterans like James Quillen said they are thrilled to see these improvements come to a place that they already call home.

Quillen has lived at this complex for five years and said it has changed his life.

"There's so many people, I can't believe it. It is something we really appreciate a lot," Quillen said.

That something: painting walls and landscaping the Home Front Veterans Community, a 52-unit apartment complex that serves formerly homeless veterans.

"I found myself in a situation where unfortunately, I found myself homeless," Quillen said. "I went to the Big Bend Homeless Coalition and they processed me and I filled out an application."

That application got him a spot at this property owned by Family Promise of the Big Bend.

Friday, the Home Depot Foundation teamed up with Family Promise to give this property a facelift.

This project is more than just putting a fresh coat of paint on walls. It's about meeting a need for people in the Big Bend.

According to the Family Promise, about 95 veterans are living on the street on any given night in Leon County alone.

Holly Bernardo with the Family Promise said she not only wants to house them, but give them a better life.

"I think the least we can do is serve our veterans that are older well and show them the love and respect they deserve andthat is what we are trying to create for this community," Bernardo said. "A great community that has lots of resources and also to just bring it up, and make it a happy, uplifting place for them."

Justin Dobson with Team Depot said he is happy to do this work.

"They're extremely grateful," Dobson said. "They appreciate us coming out and doing everything we can to make sure they're taken care of."

Something echoed by people living here, like Quillen.

"It's been a great experience. It's really helped my life out a lot," Quillen said.