Your World ;
; 1 of every 5 homeless Americans is a veteran.
; With homes, these vets have new lives.
; And they have a real voice in their community.
By Sally Abrahms
above, was jobless, had
a drinking problem and
lived in a park. Four
years later, he has his
own place in the Gordon
H. Mansfield Veterans
Four years ago, Michael Shindler’s
home was a sleeping bag under a pine
tree in a park in Pittsfield, Mass. Today,
the 54-year-old Air Force veteran, recov-
ering alcoholic and mentor to at-risk kids
lives just up the street, but worlds away
in his own gleaming apartment. He also owns a share of
the complex and has a voice in how the place is run.
His permanent digs are part of a newly constructed,
think-outside-the-box center for homeless vets—the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community. Opened in January, this groundbreaking approach to housing is helping
end homelessness for American veterans.
Photos by Joshua Lutz/INSTITUTE
Shindler and 38 other former military
men, average age 54, live in brand-new
solar-paneled, attached units in a devel-
opment that looks far more like high-end
than affordable housing. Their monthly
rent, which ranges from $580 to $682, is
subsidized in part by a joint program of
the U.S. Department of Housing and Ur-
ban Development and Department of Vet-
erans Affairs that is designed to help find
housing for homeless vets. They pay the
rest of their rent with earned income, their
Social Security and veterans disability ben-
efits, or other veteran housing funds. They