The highlight of the summer of 2013, for CASA and for 10 formerly homeless veterans, was the completion of Sunnybrook Apartments Phase I. Ten veterans are now sleeping in their own comfortable beds. They each have a mailbox and a permanent address. They make coffee in their own kitchen.
Speaking at the Open House celebration, Representative Yvonne Holley recognized the service of these veterans and celebrated the opportunity to serve them at their time of need. She quoted Shirley Chisholm, who was a congresswoman and the first female and African American to run for president, saying “‘Service is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth’ and veterans have paid that rent. They embodied that spirit of service and dedicated their lives to protecting us and serving all of us in a way that we can’t possibly understand.”
Move-in day early in August was less public, but extremely meaningful for those in attendance. Volunteers and CASA staff joined new tenants and their families in sharing the joy and relief that comes with knowing the emotional and physical pain of homelessness is now over. Thanks to the generosity of Wake Forest’s Ladies of Valor, each tenant received a handmade quilt as well as kitchen supplies and housewares. Thanks to Sears, BB&T, and volunteers from Kings Lodge 106, each veteran received a brand new bed – for some the first bed they had slept in for years.
The ten units developed at Sunnybrook would not exist without the funding support of HUD, Wake County, and the City of Raleigh. A huge thank-you also goes out to the Housing Authority of the County of Wake and the staff at the Durham VA who ensure that Sunnybrook tenants have the services and rental assistance they need to maintain their housing for the long-term.