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Wednesday’s Warrior: Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport helps veterans find hope and help during trying times

Fairfield

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — “To help these men and women who have served our country and do everything in our power to get them back on track,” Vince Santilli said of what Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport strives to do.

The CEO and executive director said the center also aims to help with their mental health.

“Many of the men and women we serve are struggling with PTSD with overcoming addiction.”

No matter their struggles, the not for profit assists our country’s bravest by helping with housing, employment and other services to help veterans return to a productive and meaningful life.

“Our staff is so dedicated to doing anything we can,” said Santilli.

But like so many other things, COVID-19 forced Homes for the Brave to adjust

“We’re now eight months into a pandemic none of us could have planned for.”

Santilli said what has remained the same through all of this is the mission, vision, values and success stories.

In the early 2000s, while serving in the Marines and preparing to deploy to Iraq, Corporal Alejandro Hernandez was injured stateside in a Humvee incident that only he was able to survive. That’s when his mental health declined.

“I really had a hard time being around other service members and other people in general,” Hernandez said. “I lost everything because of my psychological issues.”

Now, Corporal Hernandez is thriving and doing well thanks to his service dog, Ace, and Homes for the Brave

“[The center] gave me the tools I needed to really kind of put things in perspective and back together,” Hernandez said.

He is now an employee at Homes for the Brave, helping his fellow veterans gain the tools, confidence and support they need to succeed.

To wishing to learn more about the nonprofit should visit its website.

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