A Second Chance to Serve

May 20, 2019 | Posted in Housing, Health | Keywords: , , , ,

The day before his 58th birthday, Veteran Tvan Bryant moved into his new home at Bluebonnet Studios. To him it was a gift from God.

“Life feels different now that I have a roof over my head,” he said. “I have my own place. My own bed, my own kitchen. I’m never hungry anymore.”

Tvan has not always been so lucky. During his life, there have been several times when he didn’t have a place to call home. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for many veterans living in Austin. The VA directed Tvan to Foundation Communities, where his life turned around.

Bluebonnet Studios is one of our six communities solely for single adults. Free wraparound support services are available on site to help residents like Tvan navigate life and be successful.

During high school, he was an average student who was great at sports. When given the choice to join the military or attend college on sports scholarships, he chose to enlist in the U.S. Army. Through his travels he met and married an “Army brat,” and, they had a daughter. But, after five years, the marriage ended. This was a hard blow for Tvan.

He moved back to Texas seeking a fresh start, but depression led him to drugs, which sadly led him to prison. Tvan lost contact with his daughter and his family.

After he was released, he knew he had to make drastic changes. Today, he is a self-professed addict and alcoholic in recovery for many years. Every day he works to maintain his sobriety, while also managing PTSD from traumas he’s experienced throughout life.

“I don’t think I would be as successful if I didn’t live here. Besides having a case manager, who works right in my building, we have a nurse who regularly visits Bluebonnet,” Tvan explained. “This makes a huge difference for me – just knowing someone is there to check on me and make sure I’m okay.”

Other health programs available to Tvan are stress management classes and yoga classes.

“You really feel like someone cares about you,” Tvan mused.  “And, that alone is a huge help with my stress and anxiety.”

With all the positive changes Tvan’s made in his life, he didn’t hesitate when Foundation Communities asked him to be Bluebonnet Studios’ Community Engagement Specialist.

“This is a great job!  I get to help my neighbors.”

Tvan sets up for special events, hosts movie nights, works with volunteers and assists with the on-site Food Pantry.

“Foundation Communities has really changed my life, in more ways than I can describe,” Tvan reported. “I honestly had gotten to the point where I didn’t want to even be around people. I was just too uncomfortable. But, with my new job, I have to communicate, to connect with the other residents. I get to be of service again. And, I can do it, because I have the support I need right here where I live. I feel healthy and very content. I know I’m a blessed man.”