Ernie served in the Navy for seven years during Vietnam before returning to Arlington, VA. He worked for a defense contractor for many years, but was eventually laid off and forced to seek sporadic work as a day laborer. When he threw his back out, even these temporary jobs became impossible. Two years ago, with no income and limited ability to work, Ernie began sleeping under a wooded overpass in Arlington County.
This year, Thanksgiving came early for Ernie when a team from A-SPAN
, the organization leading the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Arlington, secured him a permanent one-bedroom apartment and a VA housing voucher. Ernie moved into his new home on Wednesday, and the Washington Post was there
to capture the moment.
Since the 100,000 Homes Campaign began, participating communities have helped more than 5,000 veterans escape homelessness for the security of permanent housing. If you live in the DC area, consider donating to A-SPAN this holiday season
to help more veterans like Ernie leave the streets behind for good.