According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 37,000 veterans are currently experiencing homelessness.
Research shows that those who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras are at the greatest risk of becoming homeless, but that veterans from more recent wars are also affected, of course.
Many veterans who come home from deployments often face “invisible wounds of war,” which correlates with homelessness.
Ride With Valor is a nonprofit that was founded in 2018 by US Army Veteran Russell Scot Rhoda. When he returned home, he noticed that only select veterans received support from their communities. He wondered why all eras of veterans weren’t treated the same way, and made it his mission to help ALL veterans and their families in any way he could.
Ride With Valor provide dinners, take veterans to their appointments, and now has a new program called “Hearth and Home,” where they gift a homeless veteran a new home that they renovated.
This is the second year they are doing it, and this time they surprised a Vietnam War veteran named Milton Ra-Mon Smith who was homeless and had lost his service dog.
“When my dog died, it broke my heart. I cried for maybe three or four days,” Smith told News 5 Cleveland. “I still look for her when I walk. When you come in, when you walk, open your door and think she’s there. She’s not there.”
Ride With Valor gifted Smith a new home in Cleveland, but that’s not all. They also surprised him with a new dog to help fill the void of losing his service dog.
Smith says it’s a double blessing and he couldn’t be more grateful.
Watch Smith receive his new home and dog in the video below, and click here to learn more about Ride With Valor.Whizzco