VAHP Update

“It (VAHP) was a life saver…”
James Lewis, Air Force veteran

During the Christmas season James and Janet Lewis were busy preparing for the holidays when they were forced to move out of their condo, into another condo in Walnut, CA.

However, right before Christmas, the landlord told James, an Air Force veteran who served his country for 12 years, that he and Janet would have to move out ASAP.

“It was Christmas time and they told us to get out,” said James. “We were just miserable. And, during that period of time who is looking for renters? We were devastated.”

Fortunately, right across the street from the condo that James and Janet were being evicted from, they saw a “big, red sign” at the Diamond Bar Estates, 21217 Washington Street in Walnut, veterans welcome.

“It was a life saver for my wife and I,” Lewis told The AVAG News during an interview on February 15.

The “life saver” was the three-year-old Veterans Affordable Housing Program that is now run under the aegis of the American Veterans Assistance Program (AVAG) private non-profit 501(c)(3) formed to help veterans in the forty Affordable Community Living and Santiago Communities in the five western states.

James and Janet went to the Diamond Bar Estates management office, explained their fate of facing the horrifying prospect of becoming homeless during the Christmas holidays.

As they went through the process of purchasing a manufactured home in Diamond Bar Estates, “we learned that the previous owner was a lazy man who allowed his dog to mess in the home.
“Fortunately for us, when the (Diamond Bar Estates) staff learned about our fate, they worked really hard to fix it up, including painting the walls white so it would be in order for us when we were ready to move in,” Lewis said.

When Janet Lewis, an interior designer saw the white walls, “she was very happy. She went to work making it feel like home.”

Today, instead of being homeless, or renting another condo, James and Janet Lewis are the proud owners of a manufactured home in Diamond Bar Estates.

Adding to their happiness was the recent “Free Furniture For Veterans” giveaway event that was held in Diamond Bar Estates on February 5, where James and Janet selected several pieces of free furniture.

“Needless to say, we were very pleased to receive the furniture,” said James.

James is the latest of 143 veterans who have joined the ranks of more than 600 veterans who live in one of the forty Affordable Community Living and Santiago Communities Inc. in the five western states.

Through the VAHP almost $300,000 of private funds have been distributed to the 143 veterans assisted in this program, said Program Director Scott McReynolds.

“One of the most critical aspects of the VAHP is the $2,500 down payment assistance that is offered to any veteran who qualifies for it under the three-year-old program,” he added. “It’s a program we’re proud of.”
Lee Martin, executive director of the American Veterans Assistance Group said, “The compelling story of James and Janet is a classic example of how we can help veterans, in this case to help them own a manufactured home in lieu of being homeless…”
“This is just the latest in a string of heart-warming stories where we’ve been able to help veterans live in affordable housing, and it’s all on private money without any government strings attached to it.”
If a veteran is looking for affordable housing, he or she can go to the VAHP website, or call: 888-923-VETS (8387).

Categories AVAG News | Tags: | Posted on April 1, 2015

Share: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

close window

Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856