A Message from Our President

As people lose their jobs, houses, families, and futures during this economic crisis, I remember a time when I lived in a car. Cost savingOur President measures led to my company to dismiss me, and I became homeless. I had always worked, so I had no knowledge about the resources that would help me better my condition. I didn't know the first place to go to feed my aching stomach. So, I slept in my car most of the day to forget my misery.
 
One morning a gentleman knocked on my car window and asked if I was hungry. He directed me to a line of at least 14 people waiting for lunch bags. As I sat in a corner eating, I learned that the man giving out the food was named “Viet Nam,” and that he had been in a similar situation when he returned from the War.
 
The National Center on Veteran Homelessness says that 15% of homeless veterans served before the Vietnam War, 47% during, and 17% after the War. “Sadly, soldiers returning from the Vietnam War, whose war-related ailments went improperly assessed or treated, became homeless within 9–12 years. In sharp contrast, however, veterans of the Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)) wars are becoming homeless within 9–12 months,” according to Katrina Eagle, Esq. at the Veterans Law Office of Eagle & Wildhaber, LLP.
This ever growing trend of veteran homelessness in this country is tragic. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 37% of the homeless population is veterans; 400,000 veterans will experience homelessness during the year. At this moment, there are 200,000 veterans living on the streets, at least 6,500 of which are female

The number of female veterans has doubled in the last decade," says Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. In fact, she says that female soldiers are two times more likely to become homeless than male veterans.
 
Without “Viet Nam’s” dedication and sacrifice when I was a homeless veteran, I would have still been hungry. His actions inspired me to carry on this work in the streets of Chicago.
 
At, Thomas Bridgmon Ministries, our mission is necessities. We provide food and clothing to homeless veterans and non-veteran individuals and families; we empower them to reintegrate into society and improve their quality of life; and we alert the world of its influence on their wellbeing.
 
 Your gift will provide necessities from the simplest items. Perhaps you could donate that winter coat sitting in your closet that still has some usefulness. Help us to be a ray of hope for those who can’t see through the fog of life, whether it’s nourishing food, a warm garment, a listening ear, or acceptance. Your tax deductible gift will help men, women, and children in need.

Melvin Bridgmon, President/CEO
U.S. Navy Veteran
 
" I have this theory that if one person shows compassion to another then that person will start a chain reaction of the same."