BRIGHT SPOTS: HOMELESS VETERAN FINALLY HAS A PLACE TO CALL HER OWN AGAIN

Bright Spots

It’s estimated that there are more than 40,000 homeless veterans living in the United States. Ramona Wehrly was one of them until very recently.

“My first base was Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida,” Wehrly said. “And it was wonderful. I was an instructor who got to travel and go to other countries to teach, so I had a really exciting career in the Air Force.”

After getting out of the Air Force in 1992, life went on for Ramona Wehrly. Some of that life was good, and some not so good.

“A couple of years ago is when I actually started living in my car a good bit,” she said.

Going from living out her dreams to living in her car happened almost overnight.

“Once you become homeless, it is very difficult to have enough money to start over,” Wehrly said. “You not only have your first month’s rent, you have deposits on all the utilities.”

But despite the hardships she faced, Wehrly said she stayed positive. And that positive attitude brought her help and hope.

“When the (COVID-19) stimulus check came in, that’s what gave me the opportunity,” she said. “It was an answered prayer is what it was.”

Today, Wehrly is back in her own space.

“It’s so much better having my own place,” she said. “Some place where I can stay put all the time. Being able to cook for myself. I used to live on sandwiches and one hot meal a day at the Community Soup Bowl. They do really good work there feeding those in need.”

Wehry said she hopes others will hear her story and realize how many homeless people, including seniors and veterans like herself, are struggling right here in our community.

She’s a Bright Spot, she said, because she can be an example to others as well as highlight the struggles many people are facing.

“I don’t have to sleep in my car anymore,” Wehry said. “I don’t have to try to find places to go all day long. By getting the stimulus check, it has really helped me a lot.”

After 15 years of not having her own door to open, Wehry said she’s elated to finally be home.

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Categories: Bright Spots, Community, Local News