Veterans Transitional Housing Program
Here at St. Benedict’s, we are constantly trying to meet the needs of the homeless population. We do this by eliminating the stigma by educating our community, and by helping residents overcome barriers that many face. Our stride in doing such things are by observing our residents and the community, by listening, and also communicating to try and better understand each individual, personally. The Honor House for Veterans is designed to embrace and empower some of the struggles veterans face. This house is made up of two man rooms, to eliminate the crowded feel, yet still provide companionship, with like minded people. Our goal is to provide these men with a home, without feeling alone. A lot of veterans struggle with flash backs and PTSD which may be enhanced by large crowds or settings, including the shelter. The Honor Home will provide just enough structure and independence to allow comfort, through the transition of homelessness to regained independence.
Memorial Day of 2017 will always be a memory Honored at St. Benedict’s. Our Director was talking with a gentleman on Memorial Day while the shelter was opened all day to honor Veterans. As he began talking with this man, who was 71 years old, about all the hours he worked at his job and how much he admired his commitment to become independent, he discovered more.
This gentleman began and ended every sentence with sir. He started to tell the Director of the years he spent serving his country and how blessed he was to be at the shelter. He proceeded then to talk about the bad decisions he had made that landed him in his current situation. At the end of the conversation he stated that he was staying right where he was at because he knew God had his hands on him and St. Benedict’s. He also made a point to say that he was doing something different. He was not giving up and would live everyday with fire and ambition. His goal was to obtain a bed at one of the St. Benedict’s Transitional Homes. The Director was immediately moved by the Spirit. Knowing that he would soon obtain another Transitional Home, that was being purchased from Friends of Sinners, it was then, that God put laid it on his heart, this this next home, would be a home of transition, to Veterans only.
The house at 1100 West 11th Street was secured with an agreement between previous Director of St. Benedict’s Joe Welsh, currently Executive Director of Friends of Sinners and current Executive Director of St. Benedict’s Shelter, Harry E. Pedigo.
On the 20th of June, Director, Harry Pedigo went to the PVA with attorney Charlie Kamuf, to begin a deed search. As the deed was being completed, Harry noticed that the owner of the home at 1100 West 11th Street prior to Friends of Sinners, was none other than the Veterans Affairs. This was a revelation and a confirmation that God was moving in a bigger way than he imagined.
The Honor Home was given its name due to the vision God gave our Director on the day we stayed open, to honor all Veterans. This house will be used for Veterans only, transitioning from homelessness to independence and will accommodate four Veterans at a time.
If you or someone you know would be interested in donating their time, talents, resources visit our website at stbenedictsowensboro.org. Monetary donations can be specified for the Honor Home Fund. Funding raised or services donated may allow us to open this house earlier than expected. Please pray for us as we continue to meet the needs of the homeless and pray for the individuals seeking our assistance.