Fort Lauderdale, Florida – U.S. Navy veteran Eugene Ralph was homeless for the past year after spending nearly a decade traveling the world on a warship. He said he slept anywhere he could find a bench.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has been gathering goods for Ralph, and they are giving him a helping hand and new furniture as he gets back on his feet.
“The economy, the pandemic — I lost my place, and I couldn’t bounce back,” Ralph said. “Gas stations, bus stops, anywhere I could sleep.”
But, he was strong enough to ask for help, which he received.
“You know, with a kind word, ‘Yeah, I’m a veteran. I’ve been through a tough time,’ and people started to listen,” Ralph said.US
The BSO and many others found Ralph a new place to call home in Fort Lauderdale.
“So often those who are experiencing homelessness, feel helpless and hopeless,” BSO Deputy Michael Francis said. “I’m sure, at times, he felt those two things, but his will to survive, him being a military veteran, gave him that resolve and that resilience — I think it’s an appropriate word — to really foster on.”
Ralph has been living in his current apartment since July, and during that time, he has had no furniture inside.
It would take two box trucks to deliver all of the furniture to his apartment. They included everything Ralph could possibly need, and it was unloaded and moved into his apartment.
“Unbelievable, this is priceless, priceless,” Ralph said. “If you can fathom priceless, that’s what it feels like.”