American Legion Thomas M. Brady Post 45 in Canton, Ga., working closely with the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program, again steps up to help a homeless veteran. Jay Phillips is an Army veteran who has been homeless for 10 years, living for the most part on a sofa in a local friend's apartment.
"I have known Jay for the past three years," stated Jim Lindenmayer, program director and Post 45 service officer. "It was last fall that he came to me and wanted to end his bout with homelessness and get his life back on track. Due to some issues we discussed with Jay, we thought sending him down to the VAMC in Decatur may be best, but after repeated issues with VA's handling of Jay, we moved him back under our care," added Lindenmayer.
"We have been working since December 2018 to put together a plan with Jay that included our program paying for him to stay in a local Motel 6 using the American Legion discount program. Our Homeless Program intake process quickly processed Jay through VA claims, resume building, local medical needs and finally making him an member of Post 45 so Jay would have a home of record for any correspondence coming to him."
"Working with a local company, we were able to get Jay a full-time job while our program continued to provide meals, clothes, and a place to stay so that we could stabilize him."
"After being in our program for a number of months, Jay had saved enough money to move out of the hotel and into an apartment. He still needed transportation to and from his job. The CCHVP program arranged with a local Uber driver, who is a veteran as well, to temporarily provide transportation until a car was donated to the Post 45 car donation program. In early May 2019, a Navy veteran heard about our program and called the post to donate a 2004 Nissan Maxima with 225,000 miles."
Post Commander Raymond Rollins and Post Finance Officer Claude Pettit were able to accept the donation and just this past week the re-titled auto was officially presented to Jay at the post at no cost to him. Through both Legion programs, Jay is now 100 percent off the street and is firmly standing on his own two feet, and has reconnected with his two children whom he lost contact with.
Jay now looks to help others in his past situation and will be helping pay it forward to another veteran in need.