BRONX-NEW YORK/VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA OF NEW YORK
Dwayne Gathers (Veteran), U.S. Army: It isn’t easy when veterans come back home. My veterans here, they get lost because people don’t understand them. They fall through the cracks.
Mariel Cruceta, Program Director, Commonwealth Veterans Residence: Commonwealth Veterans Residence is located in the Bronx in the Songview section, and we serve 149 formerly homeless adult men and women who are all veterans.
Claire Altman, President & CEO, Volunteers of America of Greater New York: In New York City, 26 percent of our homeless individuals happen to be veterans.
Mariel Cruceta: Facilities like this give the veterans an opportunity to transition from being in the military to being a civilian once again. The lounges serve as a place for the veterans to congregate with each other. It’s kind of like their living room. They really needed a facelift. They needed a little bit of a makeover and some fresh paint to brighten it up.
Jeff Barker, NYC Market President, Bank of America: Today really embodies what Bank of America is all about. We have a group of fifty volunteers from all different lines of business who are dedicating their time to paint and to fix up some of the common areas.
Herbert McClary (Veteran), Credit Associate, Bank of America: I am a veteran myself, so it’s extremely important for me to help out those who maybe didn’t have the opportunities I did coming out. So any opportunity I can get to have an impact, I’m all for it.
Lewis Runnion, Senior VP, Public Policy, Bank of America: Veterans have a great sense of pride, and they don’t like to ask for help. By coming here today and refreshing this facility we make if not like a shelter, we make it more like a home. And it seems less like an ask and more like a transitional place for them to come to get back on their feet.
Mariel Cruceta: Because it really does make a difference. It’s not just putting paint on a wall. It’s making it feel like a place the veterans are proud to bring their family and their friends to see where they live and the place that they call their home.
Jeff Barker: Our veterans have given so much of their lives in service to this country, and a day like today, we’re giving a few hours of our time in service to them. It’s very meaningful to our team, and it really is the least we can do.
See how we helped the Bronx’s Commonwealth Veterans Residence continue to serve homeless veterans.