NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Malloy, the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and members of the Congressional delegation visited with veterans at Victory Gardens veterans’ housing complex near VA hospital in Newington on Thursday touting a major breakthrough.
“We are the first state in the nation to end chronic homelessness among veterans,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy, D-Conn.
Also there Thursday were the foot soldiers, state and federal employees and volunteers that have made this happen by actually going out and finding homeless veterans.
“Often times, people will call a hotline if they encounter someone who’s experiencing homelessness,” said Dr. David Rosenthal of the Errera Community Center in West Haven.
One of those that was homeless is Brandon Bristol of New Haven.
“I was a suicide attempt; I was on alcohol and drugs, and I sobered up thanks to the help of the VA that I didn’t know about five years ago,” he said.
Thankfully, many veterans turn their lives around and some end up helping others. That’s what Bristol is doing.
“I get down to New Haven’s Green or West Haven’s beach and I hand out information,” he said. “I approach veterans, walk up, and ask them if they’re a veteran to begin with, you know.”
Bristol’s efforts were singled out Thursday as having helped bring many veterans to a better place.
“I just started doing it to keep myself sober, next thing you know it’s a snowball effect and I have a bunch of guys patting me on the back,” he said. “It’s a good feeling, that’s why I do it.”
If you know of a homeless veteran, click here or call 1-877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838.)