Behind Every Door is a series of success stories featuring our neighbors who have been served by the Virginia Beach CDC and the regional outreach of Southeastern Virginia Housing Corporation.
The Virginia Beach CDC impacts the lives of 1500 neighbors each year. Walter Brune is one of those neighbors.
When I asked Walter to share his recent experience with homelessness, he explained, "It was the lowest point of my life." That's quite a statement, considering that Walter has seen his share of rough patches.
It began in 1968. Walter fell down 2 flights of stairs and dislocated his hip. When he volunteered for the Army toward the end of the Vietnam War, he was unable to complete basic training due to his hip injuries. Instead, he worked in manufacturing at IBM, but was let go after 12 years when the economy took a downturn. At the age of 50, Walter was forced into early retirement because of health concerns. Finally, this past May, Walter became homeless after legally separating from his wife.
After over 2 months spent in the Union Mission shelter, Walter was able to find an apartment that he could afford with assistance from VBCDC's Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. Now he has stable housing and is able to support himself with Social Security Disability benefits. He is planning to finalize his divorce next month. Walter is a shining example of someone who has overcome life's rough patches and done well for himself.
He credits VBCDC Neighbor Advocate, Amanda Romero, with helping him achieve that success. "I don't know what I would have done without Amanda," he told me. "She was very professional, informative, and helpful. She helps a lot of people."
VBCDC's goal is to open more doors of opportunity to those needing affordable housing. We are looking for creative partnerships with other government, nonprofits, for profit businesses, private developers, citizens groups, educational institutions, etc. Let's have a conversation about changing lives.
Thank you for all that you do.
Gina R. Lucy
Gina is the Leader, Marketing & Community Relations and spends her days (and lots of evenings) telling the story of VBCDC to everyone in the community.