Attitude and Gratitude
Amy Kincheloe, TDHCA
As he stands in his room at the Travis Street Plaza Apartments in Houston and reflects on his last 18 months of sobriety and the awards he has received, Lonnie M. can’t help but beam with pride.
“I know who I am today and I’m okay with that,” he said. “I can use my past as my biggest asset.”
After completing a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center, Lonnie came to reside at Travis Street, a 192-unit affordable, service-enriched housing community marketed to individuals at-risk of homelessness, including veterans.
Travis Street was financed in large part through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ Housing Tax Credit Program.
As a U.S. Army veteran, Lonnie says he is grateful that he served and still enjoys the camaraderie of being around other veterans who live at Travis Street.
Lonnie’s gratitude as well as his positive attitude were big reasons why the Travis Street staff tapped him and a few other residents to help form a committee called “Veterans in Action.” This is a group dedicated to making Travis Street a better community by being positive role models for new residents, volunteering to provide security, and organizing social events.
“[The Travis Street Staff] say I’m a role model, but I don’t see it as that,” Lonnie said. “I see it as being able to be a productive member of my society. It’s an honor and a privilege to help someone.”
In addition to being productive at Travis Street, Lonnie helps with peer support groups at the Salvation Army, has a job painting through the Incentive Therapy Program at the VA hospital and has become a strong part of his family’s lives’, which includes two daughters and two grandchildren.
“My family watched me struggle for so long, and they are so glad to see that I’m doing well,” Lonnie said. “Before, I wasn’t consistently in their lives, but today they know I’m there. It felt good to be able to buy school clothes for my grandchildren this year.”
While everything is going well for Lonnie, he doesn’t see leaving Travis Street anytime soon.
“I don’t foresee myself moving right now – I’m good, I’m content,” Lonnie said. “This is home! For me, Travis has just been great for my recovery. It has been a growing experience that has definitely helped me with my sobriety.”
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