MANA House Helps Veterans Rebuild Their Lives

George Stahl

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, a group of volunteers from the Jewish War Veterans Post 619 of Sun Lakes served pizza and soda to 72 vets at Catholic Charities MANA House, Phoenix.

Program Director Horace “Ace” Carter said, “MANA House (Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force) helps homeless and at-risk veterans to regroup and to get back on their feet.” Carter explained the process like this, “We offer programs that cover subjects such as ways vets can cope with the everyday stresses of life to dealing with and living with the traumas that they may have experienced while serving in their particular branch of the military.” Carter continued, “The vets who come to us can live here for six months. In that time, we help them to look for a job, and even find jobs for some. We help with solutions to their housing needs and show them how to fill out all of the paperwork in dealing with the V.A., to help ensure they are getting all of the benefits they have earned. Our job is to introduce them to a self-sustaining lifestyle.”

Marine veteran Ernest Edmond and Army veteran Gilbert Medina, Jr., live at MANA House. Edmond served for seven years, three months. He was deployed in the Gulf War from 1985 to 1992. He was a resident of MANA House nearly 10 years ago, when life caught up to him and he found himself in need. The six months he spent at MANA House was enough to get him what he needed to get back out into the world. “Then, about a month and a half ago, my housing situation changed, so here I am. We are working on a new place to live now, and I should be homeless for only about two months,” Edmond said. Edmond is starting a new job working for the Regional Office of the Veterans Association. He is planning to return to school and earn his Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. “MANA House has been a place of safety for me.”

Gilbert was in the Army for two years, 1980 to 1982, stationed at both Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Ord, California. Gilbert has been battling depression for some time, but until recently was able to care for himself. Within the past two months, he found himself being homeless and helpless. “Now, I have a bright future because of three staff members from MANA House. Regarding Post 619 they said, “This is fantastic. What they do is a shot in the arm, and the pizza was good, too.”

There will always be a need, and Jewish War Veterans Post 619 will always do what they can to fill that need. You are encouraged to join them the third Sunday of the month at 9:30 a.m. in the Mirror Room at Sun Lakes Country hear an interesting speaker and learn more about how JWV helps our veterans. No obligation required, and refreshments are served.

For more information, contact Commander Ron Buckner at [email protected]