We had an awesome August at ABRI/Homes for the Brave thanks to the incredible support of both new and existing contributors. Our 3rd Annual Step Up for the Brave Stadium Stair Climb Challenge is now three weeks away and we are confident that this will be a real happening event. In addition to the appearances of 99.1's emcee Chaz, AJ and the WPLR Street Team, Collective Soul Frontman and Lead Vocalist Ed Roland has committed to being at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard to support our organization and the work we do serving Veterans and he is encouraging his fans to come out and support this event. I look forward to seeing all of you on September 23rd!
Creating Hope, Building Dreams...
Chief Executive Officer
Step Up For The Brave
Stadium Stair Climb
The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT
Saturday, September 23rd @
The Ballpark at Harbor Yard - Bridgeport, CT
"Step Up for the Brave" is a unique, vertical challenge in which participants are encouraged to conquer
a target number of stairs in honor of our
brave service men and women!
Featuring Chaz from 99.1 WPLR's
show as our MC!
Proceeds from the Stadium Stair Climb Challenge will support Homes for the Brave's mission to help homeless individuals, most of whom are Veterans, return to productive and meaningful lives.
Special this year is an appearance by Collective Soul
Frontman and Lead Vocalist Ed Roland!
The Path From Transitional to Permanent Housing
From the first moment a client walks in our door, they meet with an assigned Case Manager. Case Managers work closely with clients to identify barriers to obtaining and maintaining housing, to develop housing and employment goals and a plan to achieve them, and to help them address the issues that led to their housing crises. Case Managers and other clinical staff provide residents with services including: housing search counseling, personal budgeting assistance, vocational counseling, job search assistance, computer skills training, entitlement application assistance, and life skills training. Case Managers also coordinate referrals to assist with legal issues, substance abuse, mental health, and medical treatment.
Bridgeport Elks Deliver Move Out Baskets!
Through the generosity of the Bridgeport Elks, it's members and the Elks National Foundation, a donation of 15 "Welcome to your new Home Packages" were delivered on Saturday, August 19th. The packages will be given to residents who have acquired permanent housing.
All hands were on deck for the delivery by Board Member Matt Frankel (right) and Eddie Baranyai (left). Residents were amazed to see this donation and one was teary-eyed when viewing the baskets, knowing how much others care.
Meet Volunteer and Donor Pat Buchanan
Last month, we featured the fantastic Forgotten Heroes Golf Classic which was founded by Pat Buchanan. This month, we'd like to share more about Pat and how this event came to be. Besides being a philanthropist, Pat is one of our organization's dedicated volunteers, giving time weekly to complete a wide variety of projects. Here is his story:
"My oldest son, Stephen, joined the Army in 2009. After he joined, I noticed broadcasts about a lot of injured soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan missing limbs and dying at a young age. I wanted to do my small part in trying to help veterans when I saw the Wounded Warrior Project commercial on TV. Their organization was helping severely injured soldiers returning from war and their families. That's what got me involved in hosting a golf tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Our first tournament was in 2010 and we've grown from about 40 players then to about 120 players this year, marking our 6th tournament. (It was not held every year.)
When I started it was myself, friends Bill O'Brien, Rich Patterson and Tom Hyland, who were all Veterans. Tom was in the Army in the 70s. Bill and Rich were both Marines in the Vietnam era. In 2014, Kathy Piro, a friend of Rich's, became involved. Since then, we've added sponsors and players to join the tournament and that has helped us grow this event.
For the first four years, we raised close to $70,000 which went to the Wounded Warrior Project. I know the money was sent to assist wounded soldiers and their families but there was no one locally we saw benefiting. Last year, we benefited a group called 'Til Duty Is Done' in Cheshire. They helped local Veterans get back on their feet by providing housing and job training. (Unfortunately, that organization is now defunct.)
This year, we raised money for Homes for the Brave. I volunteer there every Wednesday and see what is occurring with their clients. There are homeless men and women Veterans receiving job training. They're also getting help with housing until they find work and can go out on their own again.
My favorite thing to do is get involved in a local charity and do what we can to help them. It was great to hear from the players how much they enjoyed participating in the tournament and knowing who is benefiting from it. We have a number of Veterans play in the tournament at no cost to them, thanks to Oronoque Country Club, and they really appreciate it.
We encourage people to try and get involved in any group that serves Veterans, especially one that is local, like Homes for the Brave. Then we know the funds raised are being used locally. We owe so much to all our Veterans and by holding a golf tournament to raise funds to assist them - that is the least we can do for them. Thank you." ~
Homerun For Heroes
Sikorsky Aircraft and Teamsters 1150 hosted the 6th Annual Homerun for Heroes baseball game on August 19th, featuring the Bridgeport Bluefish.
Game attendees enjoyed an on-field helicopter landing before the game. All guest Veterans, including our residents, received complimentary admission, t-shirts, and a free meal.
Combat Veterans Visit
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 31-2
members delivered a supply of gift cards on Sunday, August 20th. Marine Corps Veteran and ABRI Board Member Phillip Modesti continues a partnership started last summer by engaging members of CVMA to support homeless Veterans in our area.
As the name suggests, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association consists of individuals who have served in the United States military and have a love for riding motorcycles. Most importantly, its members are dedicated to supporting Veterans in need whenever they can, from raising funds to identifying job opportunities to securing transportation for disabled vets, and more.
|Thank you Dowling Family for the fabulous cookout!
* * * * * * *
We are deeply grateful to everyone who serves meals, conducts supply drives, raises funds or helps in any capacity to make our programs successful for our residents and our community.
Senator Murphy Veterans Roundtable
On Friday, August 25th, Vince Santilli and Kathy Beardsworth attended
Senator Murphy's Veterana Roundtable
hosted by the VFW in Danbury. Murphy promised to keep up his fight, and said Congress was making bipartisan progress on issues facing GIs [Veterans], even as other issues, such as health care reform, have stalled due to party divides.
Save The Date!
Friday, November 10 - Homes for the Brave Mini-Golf Tournament (Fairfield, CT)
This Veterans Day, join us for our 2nd Annual Mini-Golf Tournament! Adults of all skill levels are invited to join us at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield for dinner, drinks, prizes, and 18-holes of indoor miniature golf.
Friday, January 19 - Homes for the Brave Comedy Show (Stratford, CT)
Enjoy a night of laughs while helping Connecticut's homeless Veterans regain their independence. Look forward to a full lineup of comics, dinner, and a great time at Vazzano's Four Seasons in Stratford!
for more information about our upcoming events and sponsorship opportunities.
Bridgeport Elks Lodge 36
Bridgeport Police Community Service Division
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) CT 31-2
Community Sanitation, Easton, CT
Fairfield Half Marathon, Inc.
Great Oaks Charter School
Klein Family Foundation Inc.
Knights of Columbus Park City Council 16
Denese Taylor-Moye, City of Bridgeport Council
Mule Family Foundation
Laura J. Niles Foundation, Inc.
Wilfredo Perez Jr. Memorial Fund
Raymour & Flanigan
SASO - Fairfield Chapter
Spadaccino Realty Team LLC
Stripes and Squares
Trumbull Library Teen Advisory Group
Trumbull Rotary Club
US Food Rescue
of Steve Grasso and Jack Koons