MACV Veteran Story: Herb
“This is the best neighborhood I ever lived in my whole life” -Herb, housed Vietnam Veteran
On a quiet street in Minneapolis, the neighborhood greeter and patroller can often be seen riding up and down the sidewalk on his motorized scooter. At 75 years old, Herb, a Vietnam War Veteran, feels blessed to be living in a permanent home. “This is the best neighborhood I ever lived in my whole life,” he shared.
Herb spends his days looking out for others. He spends time chatting with the neighbors, mail carriers, and MACV staff that stop by his house. There is an Accessory Dwelling Unit in his backyard, home to another Veteran, and Herb ensures he gets his mail. The VA hospital is right across the street, and Herb thanks the doctors and nurses he can see from his front porch. When describing what he likes most about the neighborhood, Herb paused and said he “couldn’t ask for better friendships around my house and in this neighborhood.” It doesn’t get much more neighborly than a self-described old-timer Vietnam War Veteran pulling out all stops for everyone around him.
Herbs housing placement is an example of how MACV works with Veterans one-on-one to find the best solution. “I am the only permanent one that lives here, and I try to do my best to help the Veterans who are living with me in transition. I help them get oriented to the neighborhood and resources and check in on them.” Herb had significant barriers preventing him from finding a forever home outside MACV, and his case managers worked tirelessly with him to find a solution.
“When you’re homeless or about to be homeless, and you are a Veteran, don’t let your pride get in the way MACV will help you. I was living in an apartment when the rent was raised. I had a week to find a new place to live. MACV was there; they helped me before it was too late.” – Herb
Herb has some regrets about his life, but he is making the most of the progress he has made. “I try to help people; I’ve come a long way,” he reflected. Herb can often be seen at Every Third Saturday and Rick’s Coffee Bar; he goes to the VA for medical care and enjoys attending church. Wherever Herb goes, it’s a guarantee he’s socializing on the way.
Herb is one of many veterans that has had to overcome difficulties in his life. Despite this, he tries to help others and makes the most of every day. He is an active community member and takes advantage of the resources available. Veterans like Herb, who have found a permanent place to call home, are a reminder of the progress made in addressing Veteran homelessness.