Calvin served his country for nine years in the Army Reserve, but when he came back, he needed a little help. Now, the 29-year-old veteran and his family have a spacious place to call home.
After finishing a tour of duty in Iraq, Calvin was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He completed his Army service, started working for a local cable company, but his family needed more space. Calvin, his wife and three children were crammed into a small apartment in Hammond.
That’s when Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans provided a better option.
“I was installing cable at one of the homes here, and I started to inquire with the consumer about the criteria to get in here,” Calvin said, about The Groves at Mile Branch neighborhood development in Covington. “At the time, I was looking for a bigger place because I had my three kids and my wife in a two-bedroom home.”
Your donations allowed Calvin to find the space he and his family – including two girls, a boy and one on the way – needed to grow. The Groves feature apartments as well as 25 brand new single-family homes – called The Cottages at Mile Branch – on individual single family lots with 13 homes set aside for veterans and their families.
The houses are part of a Lease-to-Own program with a 15-year rental period designed as workforce housing with a preference for veterans. After 15 years, the rentals will convert to for-sale properties with the intent that the existing renting residents will be able to purchase their own home.
Now, the New Orleans native is planning a huge Thanksgiving dinner including more than 70 friends and family. And it’s even more special because Calvin’s disabled father moved in next door to serve as a second host for the event.
“It was well worth it,” Calvin said, about moving from Hammond to The Cottages. “We’ve been here since August, and we’re very excited to be a part of the neighborhood. The kids have places to play, and my father lives next door.
“It’s been a pretty cool process to have dad next door. He loves having the grandchildren right here. He was settled being in New Orleans, but once he learned about this development, he thought about it, and he loves it now.”
Volunteers of America has long been active in supplying affordable housing to persons in need. Your support allows our partners like Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation to create and maintain housing developments to meet the growing needs of our consumers as affordable housing remains scarce throughout southeast Louisiana.