‘Blessed’: First veteran moves into Homes 4 Our Heroes

‘Blessed’: First veteran moves into Homes 4 Our Heroes
March 26
00:00 2015
(Above: Photo by Erin Mizelle- for the Winston-Salem Chronicle Solomon V. Gore hugs Pastor Barry Washington as Gerald Green & Rev. Kenneth Holly look on.)

Solomon V. Gore is finally home.

Not a place that’s he’s sharing with someone else or a place that requires him to do maintenance work to live there, but his own home.

“I’m just blessed,” he said as he sat on the couch and looked around his new apartment. “It’s a great opportunity to live here.”

The Vietnam veteran has been looking for permanent housing since the home where he rented a room on West 26th Street burned down, due to a space heater, in November 2013.

“Someone came from up the street and told us that it was on fire. We didn’t smell any smoke or hear the smoke alarm. I just sat in the driveway and cried,” Gore said.

Since then, the 69-year-old Army veteran has been staying in some apartments at Polo Road and Cherry Street, in trade for acting as a handyman around the complex. He will no longer need to do that in order to have a place to stay.

“I’ve been struggling for at least a year and a half to get a decent place to stay,” he said. “Sometimes I would get frustrated, give up and have to go back at it again.”

Homes 4 Our Heroes, a permanent housing project for homeless veterans, is a grassroots community project of Whole Man Ministries, a local nonprofit faith-based organization. The organization has made it possible for Gore to have the new home by accepting a referral from The Prosperity Center.

“Other places seemed like they were giving me the runaround,” he said. “This time I got some help. I was told where to go, who to ask for and who to see.”

The project, which has been underway since 2013, has five duplex apartment homes. The five homes, 10 apartments, were deemed uninhabitable and slated to be demolished by the city before the nonprofit pitched the project, expected to cost $631,000.

“This feels great. It was hard work finishing this project and it feels good to finally see it come to fruition,” said Gerald Green, a representative from Homes 4 Our Heroes.

The duplexes, in the 1400 block of Cameron Avenue, had to be completely gutted and rebuilt.

The crew insulated the walls and ceilings of the apartment, laid down tile, replaced floor joists and even installed new water heaters. Three of the homes, which are two-bedroom duplexes, are designated for homeless veterans. The homes have appliances in each apartment, including a stove, refrigerator and a washer and dryer.

Agencies like Wells Fargo, Home Depot and BB&T pitched in money and manpower to make sure that the homes were completed.

“The community has chipped in so much and to finally see that hard work pay off, they are elated,” Green said. “They have worked very hard and diligently to make this happen, and now the first vet has moved in.”

Two of the homes are expected to be three-bedroom, two-bath homes available for low-income families. The city is helping to fund the development of those home with more than $200,000 in loans and grants.

The nonprofit is working with agencies like The Prosperity Center and Veterans Helping Veterans Heal (VHVH) for referrals that assist them with placing clients in housing. They help and support the clients by providing a case manager who can help with budgeting, job training and anything that’s needed.

Those living in the Homes 4 Our Heroes duplexes will have to pay rent based on a sliding scale and would be offered a chance to buy the housing.

The agency is working to find another veteran to place in the other apartment while working to make sure the duplex next door is finished by the summer.

“We are lining up people and going through the intake process so that as soon as the units became available, they can move right in,” he said.

A female veteran moved into the other unit Monday.

When asked how he felt about his new home, Gore just looks across the apartment and smiles.

I am the happiest man in the world. It takes a whole lot of stress off of me. I appreciate these guys. It feels like a burden has been lifted off of my chest, he said. “I can’t wait to spend the first night in here.”

Gore did just that on Friday, March 20.

To donate or learn more, visit or call the church 336-785-2080.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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