“We are all doing our best trying to get back on our feet again”: MACV helps Navy vet find housing after living in van for 2-years
MINNEAPOLIS — Navy Veteran Roy Lowell shares a four bedroom home in South Minneapolis with three other veterans – all housed by the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.
Having his own space is new for Roy.
He moved back to Minnesota in the Spring of 2020, living from friend’s house to friend’s house, sleeping on sofas or floors. Roy decided this was not the life he wanted to continue to live.
“I went through a few roommates and so I kind of felt like roughing it for a while and I decided to stay in my car,” said Lowell.
Lowell’s mini van would be his home for the next two years.
“This was home for a while,” said Lowell. “I love this thing, I still love it.”
“I’d just go to jobs, and I’d park it close to the job and wait until you get up in the morning and go to work,” said Lowell.
After work is when he would head to the closest truck stop.
“I’d go to truck stops and shower up there,” said Lowell. “When I made money, I’d go get a hotel room, earn reward points so I’d get free nights.”
Lowell says he spent a lifetime moving from one job to another.
While on the streets, he saw and experienced a lot.
“It’s not easy doing the whole ‘where are you going to eat next time?’, ‘where are you going to sleep and what corner are you going to sleep on,” said Lowell. “I’ve seen a lot of them out there under the bridges with the sleeping bags pulling carts and I was lucky I was blessed to have a van a vehicle running.”
Lowell did what he says he should’ve done two years ago, call the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans for help.
“That following Monday is when I met up with them, and James had me meet up with him on Tuesday to start getting the process going,” said Lowell.
The next day, he was checking into the Snelling Motel, getting him out of his van, where he slept for the past two years.
After MACV helped him get his business in order, he moved into his home in South Minneapolis, and he says his life is better than ever.
“I’m glad I’m in here. I’m in here with a good group of guys. We are all doing our best trying to get back on our feet again and then stay on from there,” said Lowell. “[Without MACV], I’d still be in my vehicle.”
Lowell can finally concentrate on the next chapter in his life now that he has a home for the holidays.
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