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Formerly homeless veteran thriving after getting help from Nashville nonprofit @ 6:17 pm
On May 25, 2016
Earlier this year, we introduced you to a homeless combat veteran who was kicked out of a Nashville restaurant. Restaurant employees even threw his belongings away. A Nashville musician stepped in and stood up for the man , which led to an interesting chain of events. The last time we saw Roger Hornsby, he had gone from sleeping on the streets and using a wheelchair to thriving in the care of a Nashville nonprofit, helping homeless men who've hit rock bottom turn their lives around.
Just 24 hours ago, our cameras captured his latest move. Hornsby has loaded up his possessions and is saying goodbye to Matthew 25. "They'll help you. You go to classes here. They sent me to some extreme AA
classes, and they taught me a lot, showing me what alcohol will do to me," Hornsby said. He came here last September. "I was sleeping outside, staying in motels. drinking every day and every morning," Hornsby said. He worked hard to get healthy. "Not one day passed that he didn't try to walk. He didn't give up," said case worker Sonya Johnson. Hornsby followed every rule. "He didn't miss a day, getting out, going to the library, computer classes, he done just what you told him to do," Johnson said.
In just eight months, the staff, the structure and the support of Matthew 25 helped rewrite Hornsby's life story. "I stayed sober the whole time I've been here. I was an alcoholic. I still am," he said. The 61-year-old disabled combat veteran said quitting drinking is the best thing that has happened to him, but he thinks about it every day, so he stays busy. Hornsby is aware that he's a role model to many. "I got friends now out there drinking, staying outside. They see me, how good I'm doing, how I'm off of it. Maybe they'll stop," he said. Now it's time for Hornsby to get his very own home at Patriot's Place. "Got me an apartment ... they signed me up here for a brand new apartment out in Madison, TN, and I move in today," Hornsby said. He may have a bone disease in his back and gout in his feet, but Hornsby still plans to work at the veterans hospital.
He says his future looks pretty good. "I ain't sleeping outside no more, and I got an apartment, and I'll keep it up. I'm set for the rest of my life now," Hornsby said.
Hornsby has already referred two other veterans to Matthew 25 for help. The nonprofit provides housing and hope to 50 homeless men at a time, half of whom are U.S. military veterans.
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