Annual Report

2023 Annual Report

Building a Better Future Together

Finding Hope and a Home

Three years ago, Eric’s life took a turn.

A Marine Corps veteran from East Harlem, Eric completed his service in 1992 after two deployments abroad and started a career at UPS, where he still works today.

He’d long been in a difficult marriage, with his wife’s behavior becoming increasingly aggressive. Things came to a head after Eric had a stroke. One day his wife locked him out of their shared home and refused to allow him access to his belongings—including his medication—landing Eric back in the hospital.

Unable to return home, Eric sought the help of VOA-GNY’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which provides financial assistance and other support to keep low-income veterans stably housed. Our staff helped Eric secure financial assistance and find a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, as well as supporting him through his separation. When his ex-wife defied a court order to return his belongings, VOA-GNY stepped up, supplying Eric with furniture, linens, and other necessities.

“[VOA-GNY] gave me a lot of hope. They kept their promise,” says Eric. He hopes that his story will help male survivors of domestic violence understand that they’re not alone and that it’s okay to seek help.

A Community to Call Home

Bronx native Lenny, 67, experienced years of housing insecurity. VOA-GNY’s East Clarke Place Senior Residence finally provided him a home.

Lenny, who graduated from Lehman College with an accounting degree and enjoyed a long and varied career, never expected to find himself sleeping on the subway at age 55. But that’s exactly what happened when he lost his job, followed by his apartment. He continued working while homeless, picking up security work and odd jobs until, after three years of sleeping on subways, Lenny moved into a shared Brooklyn apartment he found through an affordable housing program.

One day, his caseworker told him about a new residence for older adults being constructed near his old neighborhood in the Bronx. In fact, the building was just four blocks from where his mother lives. In 2021, Lenny became one of the first residents to move into East Clarke Place.

After moving in, Lenny was able to retire to take care of his mother, now 93. He often brings her to East Clarke Place to enjoy activities with the other residents: summer barbecues, card games, movie nights, and more.

“It’s a good thing for seniors to be around other seniors,” he says. “It’s a wonderful thing to have that and know that you’re not alone.”

Skip to content