Last weekend, I had the opportunity to speak to several atypical residents of Washington Avenue. These men were not the usual young professionals nor transplanted empty nest suburbanites that live in the Syndicate, Ely Walker, or Meridian. They weren’t lawyers, doctors, IT professionals, nor artists. Rather, they are military veterans who had — within the last several months or years — been living on the streets or in shelters. With great personal resolve, strong counseling by veterans and homeless services providers, and some creative use of government funding, they are now part of the downtown loft scene, living quietly in their own Washington apartments, paying rent and bills, and working at a variety of jobs.
I was deeply impressed by the St. Patrick Center program that enrolled these men. Tim Embree, my veterans coordinator, and Bill Siedhoff, the City’s human services director, have had active roles in making this happen. This is good work.