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Living in a Beat-Up Jeep After Mounting Hardship, A Homeless Veteran and His Wife Cling to Hope, Waiting for a Place to Call Home

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
07/31/18  11:54 AM PST
Homeless Veteran

Living in a Beat-Up Jeep After Mounting Hardship, A Homeless Veteran and His Wife Cling to Hope, Waiting for a Place to Call Home By Benjamin Oreskes for the LA Times

Lawrence and Carla McCue listened from the last row as the mayor spoke to veterans at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Memorial Day.

Lawrence, 75, proudly wore his Marine Corps outfit and sat in his motorized wheelchair, with his dog Oreo at his feet. Carla, 62, snapped photos.

Veterans and their families had come from across Southern California for this event. The McCues traveled from across the street in a Jeep Grand Cherokee that, like the couple, had seen much better days.

For months, they had been living on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ West Los Angeles campus in their car with Oreo. Like many senior citizens and veterans, their journey into homelessness was filled with health emergencies, financial upheaval and a persistent struggle to find a place they could truly call home.

In January they came to the campus. Their car was their home. It was filled with the essentials of their life — clothes, Oreo’s chew toys and Lawrence’s oxygen machine.

At night, they drove the Jeep from the parking lot near the main hospital to a small alcove nearby. They were granted refuge there through a program called Safe Parking LA that allows homeless people to sleep in their cars without worrying about being arrested.

One winter day, they filled out an application to live in a development called the El Segundo Boulevard Apartments that is under construction. If they qualified, they could get a housing subsidy through a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairsprogram. Lawrence’s disabilities seemed to make them perfect candidates for one of the building’s units, which state records said would serve “special needs tenants.”

As the couple sat on the VA campus, reading the Bible and speaking with their children over the phone, they began to imagine a brighter future. The clock began to tick on their application for the residence.

Read the Full Article on the LA Times.