FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The morale at Shepherd's House is high and a lot of it is because of a group called Friends of the Shepherd's House (FOSH.) They got involved when the transitional house for veterans lost a huge grant. That grant was for almost $500,000 dollars and the group is working toward raising that.
For people like John Perry, the Shepherd's House is life changing. "When I came here there was absolutely no hope in my life."
A recovering heroin addict and alcoholic, he came to the house in 2014 from Michigan after some time in jail and not finding the right option for recovery. He was homeless and lived in a tent for four years. Now he volunteers at the front office at Shepherd's House and runs a mentoring program. "This place was absolutely amazing and helped me out. They loved me until I could love myself."
FOSH also strongly believes in the mission. After it was announced the VA was dropping a grant that made up almost the entire budget, they got together to help. "Once the VA money is all used up, we want to have a very healthy cushion for the Shepherd's House to use so they can just be safe and secure in the knowledge that they don't have to close their doors," Spokesperson of FOSH and Marine Corp Veteran Alex Wulpi said.
Local veterans and concerned citizens will work in the group through fundraising efforts and different events like a gala coming up. Ruoff Home Mortgage helped them really kick off their campaign with a $50,000 donation. "It's a huge blessing to receive such a substantial donation from an organization like Ruoff and their president and CEO Mark Music who's just kind of showing how extraordinarily generous this community can be," Wulpi said.
People like John Perry are thankful. He said he's not worried about being forced to close. After all, he said it was Shepherd's House that taught him to have faith and eventually hope. "If a man has hope,he can survive after he leaves."
If you're interested in joining FOSH visit their Facebook.
With today's donation, nearly $54,000 ($53,780) has been raised so far for the house.