MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Daniel’s Story from Loss to Heroes Landing

“It’s a wonderful place to live for people who really need it.”

For 14 years, Daniel lived with his long-term partner. During this time, they shared a home full of love and warmth. Daniel would wake in the morning, head to his job doing concrete work, and come home at night to a warm meal and roof over his head. Across the dining room table, Daniel and his girlfriend would share stories about their day. They talked about upcoming events at their church and reminisced about the days when Daniel served as an aviation electrician-E-2, second class in the U.S. Navy. Daniel recalls these years as some of the happiest of his life.

When Daniel’s partner unexpectedly passed away from cancer, he was grief-stricken by the loss. His once warm home felt too empty and too sad, and with only one income it was difficult to afford. To help cope with the loss, he moved in with his brothers. Unfortunately, Daniel’s brothers were experiencing issues with alcohol and substance use, and his living situation quickly became unhealthy. Daniel knew he needed to make a change but leaving his family home meant that he would be homeless. He had nowhere else to go.

Finally, Daniel made the incredibly difficult decision to move out and the next chapter was one of the most challenging of his life as he experienced homelessness for the first time. For two years he lived at his church, surviving off the kindness of others but never really having a safe place to call home.

One day the Pastor’s wife told Daniel about some housing options for people who were experiencing homelessness. He went to the Veterans Administration right as Step Up was opening Heroes Landing – a permanent supportive housing development for veterans experiencing homelessness. Before he knew it, Daniel was moving into his very own apartment.

“I’m grateful to God that I found Heroes Landing,” says Daniel. “It was amazing to walk into my apartment for the first time – and to have a door with my own key! It’s a wonderful place to live for people who really need it.”

Daniel’s experience at Step Up has been life changing. In addition to permanent supportive housing, he was met with compassionate wraparound support. Today, Daniel is still affiliated with the same church – more than 19 years after he first walked through their doors. Every Sunday he arrives bright and early to serve as an usher.

“Step up and God provided this wonderful gift,” says Daniel. “And I am so joyful.”

Daniel’s success is possible because of the support of people like you. Learn more about how you can Step Up and help more people like Daniel.

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