Cool Thing – Helping Out Homeless Vets


Finding a safe haven can be twice as hard for San Diego’s homeless veterans who have children, because the city’s shelters are often no place for kids.

Since 1998, Veterans Village of San Diego has offered a small apartment complex to fill that need. But the 1960s-era stucco building, on an older section of Imperial Avenue, needed a little love.

The Home Depot Foundation swooped in Wednesday. About 130 orange-shirt-wearing volunteers from Home Depot stores in San Diego County spent the day painting and installing cabinets, sinks and ceiling fans. They even replaced burned-out light bulbs.

It was part of the home-improvement chain’s third-annual Celebration of Service drive, which runs from Sept. 11 to Veterans Day and encompasses 350 projects nationwide worth a collective $3 million.

This year, the Home Depot Foundation is focusing on female veterans and those with families.

At the Imperial Avenue complex, one of the new sinks is in the unit occupied by former Army medic Lawanda Sullivan, who enlisted straight from high school and served for seven years.

Want to get involved?  Join Southern California Appraisal Services  and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity  or join other local groups and help people in your community get housing.

After getting out in 2004, her life slowly crumbled, partly because of a poor economy and the challenges of single motherhood. She lost her job with the closing of the doctor’s office where she worked. She got evicted from her home. Alcohol became an issue. Finally, her boyfriend’s family put her out on the street.

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