LYNN (CBS) – Army Veteran David Sequera sits in his kitchen and pours a glass of juice. It’s the little things, he has learned to cherish.
“I returned in June,” says Sequera.
After nine years of service and reaching the rank of sergeant after a tour of duty in Iraq, Sequera returned to the United States divorced, jobless and homeless.
“Being considered this hero and then all of a sudden, to not having a place to stay, it’s kind of like a big fall,” he explained.
After couch surfing with friends and battling PTSD, Sequera found help. He joined a veterans program designed by the city of Lynn to house homeless vets.
He landed an apartment in November. Federally funded services paid his security deposit and several months’ rent.
“They set me up with a bed,” expressed Sequera as he entered his bedroom. “I really appreciate it.”
His office along with others have been recognized nationally by the federal government.
“What David is, is a great example of what happens when you give a veteran a hand,” said Lynn Veterans Services Director Michael F. Sweeney.
The city of Lynn is now the first commonwealth in Massachusetts to end homelessness among veterans, which means the city has provided services and housing for all identified homeless veterans.
Sweeney credits a registry the city uses to track homeless veterans and a policy that all identified homeless veterans must be housed within 30 days.
David Sequera is just one of 90 vets who have been placed.
Now on his way to getting back on his feet, he hopes to return to college. “I’m going start in June.”