Jon Bon Jovi dedicated his newest song “Unbroken” to honor veterans suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but his new single is not the last thing he did for the brave men who served our country. The Grammy Award-winning singer and philanthropist, through his JBJ Soul Foundation, donated $500,000 to help build the Walter Reed facility in Washington DC for the homeless veterans.
He spoke in CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Trapper,” Bon Jovi shared his insights on how soldiers must deal with the grim effects of war, even if it’s decades down the road. “Oftentimes, [veterans] left to deal with PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] and the issue of coming back to the workplace after leaving the battlefield…Life as you knew it is going to be different, and sometimes, people need that extra help.”
Jon Bon Jovi’s foundation worked together with HELP USA to construct the apartment facility. It took a decade before the retirement home came into fruition. “It’s here, it’s real. 77 vets will have a place to call home.” Jon Bon Jovi said.
For the homeless veterans like Clifton Braxton, this is what they need. “When I came back here with those pictures in my head and did not know it was called . . . It took me another 20 years before I could get a handle on that PTSD.” He told CNN. The newly constructed apartment for veterans is not only a home for people like Braxton. Various programs are conducted to help homeless veterans get back on their feet while giving them a place they can consider as a sanctuary.
Braxton’s life int the Walter Reed facility is much different from what he’s experienced in the past. “Those are brand-new beds . . . If I do my part, I can’t be told: ‘You’ve got to leave.’ They’re not going to tear this place down. You’re going to have electricity, you’re going to have water, you’re going to have a protected environment. I can close my door—boom—that’s going to be my place.” He said in an interview with Washington Post.
The new facility for the homeless veterans expects 300 residents. Those with 50 percent or less of the median income can qualify. The residents will pay 30 percent of their income in rent, which may come from their job’s wage, Social Security, or pensions.
The fully-furnished site has a small gym, a courtyard, and a computer room. Residents can use the lounge with a fireplace as a meeting place among the occupants or when their family pops for a visit. Veterans coming off the streets tend to be socially isolated says David Cleghorn of HELP USA. Walter Reed’s facility was built to encourage the homeless veterans to spend time together.
Based on recent reports from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 37,000 or 50 percent of homeless veterans accounted since 2010 have found shelter. But the quest to provide a safe refuge for the country’s heroes is far from over.
In another effort to help support veterans suffering from PTSD, all the proceeds from Bon Jovi’s song “Unbroken” will be donated to the Patriotic Service Dog Foundation, where veterans and first responders get to be paired with service dogs.