Help One Dying Veteran Have a Home

The other day I blogged about my wife’s efforts to help the homeless, in Tents for the Homeless, and yesterday was an effort to help out the widow of a US Marine. Now I’m exhorting you to consider another Work of Mercy (which, as I said in my post about my friend the Marine Corps widow, doing charitable works seems to be recurring theme in the Lenten Mass readings.)

Miki Odendahl, a good online friend of mine from whom I’ve learned many things is raising money to enable a man to die with dignity. This is NOT the “die with dignity” euphemism that covers “assisted suicide,” this is an effort to prevent a homeless American veteran from dying alone in a street or in a ditch somewhere…

To quote from the “GoFundMe” campaign: “My name is Miki Odendahl, and I’m the co-director of the Gilbert House Catholic Worker Community in Western Wisconsin. That sounds like something, but really, it’s just me and my best friends, with a phone line and big mouths doing what we can to serve our local area in whatever ways we are able….

… Clarence lost his apartment, whilst he was in the hospital recovering from a shattered knee injury, because his landlord was jacking up the rent. Bad news, because Clarence has been very sick, receiving kidney dialysis 3 days a week at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Since July I’ve been trying to find affordable housing for this homeless U.S. Veteran with little success. I have talked to multiple people in the mayor’s office … I have called every single number on every single housing list I could get my hands on in three counties, I have connected with every appropriate agency and veterans group, and I have talked to every … politician’s office in my district–…-on Clarence’s behalf, and still, here we are 8 months after my husband and I put all of Clarence’s worldly belongings in a storage locker, and he is exhausted and surfing sofas with family and friends who are bending their own rental agreements to keep him out of the cold. The long and the short of it is this:

He’s dying, slowly but surely, and at the end of this month he will have worn out his welcome with all of those who can help him stay close to his hospital and his two young children. ..

...I hear many people talk about dying with dignity. This man served his country with humility and honour, and I want him to be able to live out the remainder of his young days with the dignity due a man of his station. He served or nation without expectation of anything in return, and now I want him to experience the gratitude he deserves.

To contribute, please go here: Help One Dying Veteran Have a Home by Miki Odendahl – GoFundMe. It is a wonderful way for those who “Support the Troops” to do something…


Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"