Helping York County’s homeless veterans find hope
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When businesses work together, York County’s homeless veterans find hope

A used couch, a faded dresser and an unpolished dining room table become tools that empower York’s veterans to stand on their own.

>By Our York Media

Bill Moore points to a tattoo on his right forearm, the dark blue of a bald eagle faded from years in the sun.

“I got this one the day after I started active duty in the Army,” he says, rolling his coat sleeve down over the wrinkled skin and putting his hands back in his pockets. “Each of the boys got a tattoo that day. We thought it would help us remember the experience. We didn’t know yet that our memories would take care of that.”

Bill grew up in North Carolina and moved to York County after serving in the Vietnam War.

“I never felt like I couldn't go back home,” he says. “I never felt connected to anything back then.”

Bill kept a low profile in York. He never fell victim to booze or drugs or women. He says those were temporary solutions some Army counterparts used to forget memories.

Everything seemed OK for him, he says, but he longed to find that sense of belonging.

A helping hand for a veteran

Bill then met fellow Vietnam vet Sandy Walker.

Sandy dedicated his life to helping York County veterans like Bill. He found them comfort, support and healing.

“Sandy helped me see things in a whole new light,” Bill says. “I was going through life with no passion, no love. It was empty for me. I realized I could find a new purpose. My biggest contribution didn’t have to be my service to my country, it could be in service to my neighbor.”

Like other vets, Bill needed a chance to get off the street and into his own home. He needed to connect with the community in a meaningful way.

Veteran’s Helping Hand, which operates the Homeless Veteran’s Thrift Store and the Mr. Sandy Homeless Veterans Center, gave him that chance.

Tools to start again

For many of those veterans, a simple couch, dining room table or dresser can propel them into a life of normalcy. Veteran’s Thrift Store offers vets those items for free.

But it takes the work of a community to make those donations available.

Susie Mummert at Furniture Finesse in York saw a chance to help.

When her customers buy new furniture, she asks what they’ll be doing with the old items.

In most cases, something people would throw away or sell online finds purpose in the home of a local veteran.

Businesses working together for good

The calls for donations flowed into Furniture Finesse at 700 West Market Street. Susie needed help getting donated furniture to the area organizations that needed them.

She reached out to ADR Moving Logistics and found another York business eager to help.

“When Susie told us she needed help, it was a great opportunity for me to discover how people in York care about each other,” Ariel Campbell says.

Ariel moved to York from Baltimore after taking a position with Future Legacy, which operates ADR Moving.

“I’ve learned quite a bit about this area because my work takes me into people’s homes and allows me to help them transition into a new stage of life,” Ariel says. “It’s a privilege to do this kind of work.”

Working with others toward a common goal drives Ariel. It also reminds her that the bigger picture goes beyond her feeling good about giving back.

"We're doing this to recognize that there are stories not told, people not pictured, who deserve our thanks," she says. "Those people are our veterans, and I'm very grateful for what they've done."

‘We’ve done some good’

Susie recently worked with Geena Modi of Springettsbury Township. After updating her furniture, Geena wanted to donate her old belongings.

Susie made sure everything from a couch to a treadmill made their to York County veterans. ADR Moving Logistics helped make it possible.

“There’s a lot of disconnect and hate in today’s world,” Susie says. “This shows that it doesn’t matter who we are or what our backgrounds are. By working together, we’ve done some good. We’ve helped people who need it.”

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