East Haven PD officers provide food, shelter for homeless Vietnam Veteran

New Haven

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Vietnam Veteran and his dog who needed a roof over their heads got that and more earlier this week, with help from the East Haven Police department.

East Haven police were responding to the Quality Inn on Frontage Road Tuesday on a report of a person who was unable to pay for the room. That’s where officers met Robert Chapin and his therapy dog, Lilly. He told police he had traveled from Texas to live with a woman in the area but ended up losing the last of his money due to what ended up being a scam.

Chapin said he sold his car to pay for a hotel room, but that money had since run out, and was without a way to pay for another night. He had also gone for several days without food.

The responding officers didn’t hesitate to help. They called a nearby Chili’s, who prepared and delivered several meals for Chapin on the spot. Officers also made arrangements with the Quality Inn to have Chapin stay there one more night.

Photo: East Haven Police

Chapin and Lilly were able to move into the La Quinta on Long Wharf the next day, thanks to the help from the Columbus House Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program. They joined other Veterans at the hotel for a more permanent stay. The East Haven Public Works department helped Chapin move his belongings to the La Quinta.

Photo: East Haven Police

The East Haven police Sergeant Joe Mulhern, Officer Jon Trinh, and Officer Jack Messina were the responding officers who went above and beyond to help the Veteran. The police department says they are proud to help Chapin and Lilly and appreciate the assistance from the hotels, Chili’s, Columbus House, and the local public works dept.

The police department shared their heartfelt story on social media Wednesday, and it has since gone viral, receiving over 2,100 reactions and nearly 1,400 shares on Facebook.

If you would like to help end homelessness in Connecticut, visit the website for the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.

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