Brandon Hall — A Transitional Home of Hope for Veterans

After being homeless since 2007, lacking a steady job since 2009 and surviving the winter of 2013 through 2014, Lester Talieferro realized that he needed something better.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1981 to 1985 and had held previous jobs in transportation, usually working for tow truck companies. But he fell out of employment and lived in a shack on some land that his brother owned, with not much more than a bike and a kerosene heater. And after last year’s winter, he decided that he didn’t want to risk his safety again.

He went to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) office for a recommendation. They told him that Volunteers of America of Indiana’s Brandon Hall, a transitional residential facility with 49 beds for veterans in Indianapolis, would be a good option. So in November 2014 he moved in. Talieferro was nervous about his situation since he was homeless for seven years without a lot of job experience and a felony on his record. But he was glad to find help.

Thankfully there were many resources provided by Volunteers of America of Indiana that he took advantage of as they became available. He gained contact information, employment resources and his case manager, Ms. Morris. He always appreciated her moral support and reminders to keep him on task. Morris also helped Talieferro enroll in the Grant Per Diem program, which allows him to stay for two years. Talieferro is currently working 24 hours a week as a supply runner at the VA hospital for TWE Industries. He is excited about this position because there is a chance it may become a permanent job. But just in case, he continues to look for something more stable.

Brandon Hall also provides a social environment that he hadn’t previously experienced. Because he spent most of the last eight years alone with only his brother to talk to on occasion, becoming a part of a housing community proved to be beneficial. Talieferro has gained more consideration for other people and is able to see other people’s problems and not just his own.

He would highly recommend Volunteers of America housing and programs to other homeless veterans. Optimistic about his future and his next year and a half at Brandon Hall, he said, “This could be a legitimate springboard to get me into something stable. If I don’t find a job out of here, then that’s my own fault. It’s a good program with good opportunities. Volunteers of America offers hope, no doubt.”