The Landing Offers a Safe Haven for Disabled Homeless & Veterans
Vietnam Vet Bernard Gordon still carries the injuries of wartime with him.
“I have 38 pieces of shrapnel in my spine. I have a bullet in my hip that can’t be removed. Other than that, I’m alive,” says Gordon.
After his wife died he was kicked out of his apartment while he was still staying in the hospital.
“I’ve had five strokes since my wife died and eight heart attacks.”
After being in and out of shelters, he now he calls The Landing a safe haven.
“It’s nice to have some place to live. That doesn’t cost you as much as if you were out buying an apartment, paying for rent, paying for water.”
Instead of acting as a traditional shelter, The Landing in Fairland, OK offers permanent supportive housing. To qualify residents must be disabled and homeless, and many of them are veterans.
Residents are given three meals a day, Monday through Friday, and must pay 30% of their income to help cover room and board.
In this area, we have a large population of homeless people. A lot of them are uncounted. This time of year is especially important because of the weather and cold,” says Landing caseworker Jacque Gathright.
An average resident stays in these one bedroom studio apartments for about a year. Organizers say what makes The Landing so special is that it gives its residents ample amount of time to get back on their feet.
“Because we are permanent, it allows people time. Unlike traditional housing or homeless shelters, where there is a limited amount of time that they can stay there. Here they can stay as long as they need or want,” says Gathright.
The Landing has thirteen beds, but only half of them are full.
They are in need of monetary donations to help more people, and are looking to raise $40,000 this year.
Directors say what they need most is a vehicle to transport residents back and forth to their jobs, appointments, and errands. Right now directors are using their own personal vehicles. They help their residents find public transportation on their own, but sometimes having more convenient transportation is necessary.