HE HAS HOUSING!!
THE VA JUST CALLED JIM! HIS APARTMENT WILL BE READY IN THREE WEEKS!!!!
I'll update later this evening after I have more details!!!
YOU GUYS!!!! NEW CAR, NEW HOME!!!!!!!!
*Later that day*
It started with this text from Jim, "The VA called. [The apartment complex] will have an opening in three weeks."
I called him to verify he meant what I thought he meant, then I started crying. Then, I needed details.
Jim and I called Rachel at the VA (who sounds very competent and caring--no wonder Jim likes her so much). There are very few details to take care of, really. Once the apartment is ready, it has to be inspected by a government official. After it's approved, Rachel will take Jim to Franklin County Veteran's Services and help him apply for a grant that will cover his security deposit. She's also going to get him signed up for utilities assistance.
Basically, folks, my work here is done! :D He is in FAR more capable hands than mine!
After talking to Rachel, we went by the housing complex to drop off the $25 background check fee. The manager, Renee, is a delightful, enthusiastic woman who greeted us with, "Hey, Jim! ALL kinds of people have been calling here about you! Who do you know?" (Thank you. Love you guys!)
Renee is going to work with us to make this process as easy as possible. She listed out a couple of things that we have to do, but they're easy and she's clearly going to take Jim through it expertly and with kindness.
His apartment is in an absolutely fantastic community. He can walk to shops, restaurants, a library, cultural events. Seriously, it's a GREAT area.
His new place is an efficiency--very, very small. His living/sleeping area is 11'x15' and the dining/kitchenette is 8'x7'. I'm saying this not to complain--it's completely perfect for him--but to explain why we're going to have to refuse most of your very kindly offered donations of furniture. He'll definitely need household goods, a coffee maker, a microwave, utensils, a shower curtain, stuff like that. But there's no room for much in the way of furniture. I will probably take him to Ikea for a bed so that he can get one of the ones with big storage drawers in it. It seems the most practical. However, I will definitely keep you posted on how that goes and what he needs. What a lovely "problem" to have, huh? :)
Jim seems to be in excellent spirits. There have been a lot of changes over the past two weeks (yep, it's only been TWO WEEKS!!), and I was concerned that things might be changing too quickly for him. He waved away my fears though, "This is great! New house, new car..." then he went on to talk about what a great experience this as been for him.
A word about that, if I may. Many of you have picked up on the fact that I'm not very comfortable being praised about my efforts. I'm NOT a modest person, so don't think that's it. My problem is this: so many people have come together to make this happen. Literally hundreds of people have been involved in making this happen. My efforts were pretty much limited to getting him a lounge chair, a gift card at Meijer, and asking if I could write about him online. Truly, all the great stuff that's happened couldn't have come together without help, suggestions, advice, and donations from all the fantastic people involved in this--that means YOU.
I talked to one of my professors from OSU today. She told me, "I'm so proud of you, I could just shit." There. Let's that be the last word on praising me, OK? But give yourselves a HUGE round of applause!! You all have NOT gotten enough credit in all of this and someone should buy you a beer!