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Florida AMVET News


  One of the Ocala campsites

Checking the morale

 A  Homeless Veteran sharing Thanksgiving with love ones at V.O.R.R.H.



Sandra Wilbanks once homeless for 5 long years is now living in her own home. She is now a spokesperson for the homeless. Sandra also enjoys visiting the campsites along with V.O.R.R.H

        This is a Thanksgiving Dinner that these homeless will never forget.  

  Kenny & Jolie 2011

Our local Lowes in Mount Dora  took the time from there busy schedule to make the Veterans Organization of Resource and Recovery for the Homeless (V.O.R.R.H) very happy by building two sets of bunk beds just before Christmas.

Way to go Mount Dora Lowes!!!!


 Lloyd Thorne, left, talks with Sandi, right, at homeless camp in Fruitland Park on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Lloyd Thorne & Helen Shaut founded the Veterans Organization for Resource and Recovery for the Homeless to rehabilitate homeless  veterans from living in the woods to becoming productive members of society. V.O.R.R.H. operates solely on donations and volunteers. "The campsites are growing more and more", said Thorne


The homeless veterans organization "equals " help for homeless veterans

         Date  May 30, 2011





A Vietnam War veteran, Lloyd Thorne goes out into the woods and under bridges to interact with homeless veterans and non-veterans, providing them with clothes, food, and checking to see if anyone needs medical attention.

"There are 18,000 homeless veterans that we know about," he said, adding that the statistic reflects Lake County homeless veterans, including those in woods from Gainesville to Apopka.

"The campsites are growing and growing," he said.

Yet, Thorne is committed to helping homeless veterans get back on their feet.

He co-founded Veterans Organization of Resource and Recovery for Homeless with a friend, Helen Shaut, the wife of a Vietnam veteran. The two strive to provide structure, stability at VORRH's homeless shelter, a yellow bungalow house in Eustis where homeless veterans can reside for one year or longer. Through VORRH, residents receive counseling and the skills that they need to help them live a life away from homelessness. Four men currently reside at the house.

"This has become a real passion for us," Thorne said.

When he goes into the woods, he lets the homeless know that VORRH is available for those who want it.

"If you are willing and ready to make a change, we will be there for you," he tells them.

He doesn't push the homeless shelter, knowing it's not easy for some people to leave their campsites for the unknown.

"It can be difficult to go back to a confined setting," Thorne said. "We lost three already. They couldn't deal with it, and we can't hold it against them. It's their lifestyle."

Thorne and Shaut strives to be their friends, just the same.

"Lloyd is a really a dedicated person and Helen is his right arm," said Norman Peterson, one of the shelter residents who has been with VORRH for the past three months.

"I believe God has put us together here for a reason," said the U.S. Air Force veteran, who served in 1972. "This is my next step into going back into society. My long-term plans are to be able to get back with my wife and kids."

One of the adjustments of living at the homeless shelter has been adjusting to rules, he said.

Among the rules are no eating in the front room and taking nightly showers.

"Being out in the woods, you can pretty much do the things you want to do, and in this environment, there are rules that we have to follow," Peterson said. "But, overall the structure and by having rules is to integrate back into society."

Danny Conyers believes he was headed for a life in the woods, if it hadn't been for Thorne and Shaut helping him get the substance abuse treatment that he needed. He finished the treatment program last week and now resides at the VOHHR house.

"Lloyd and Helen are loving, caring people that want to see everyone succeed, in one way or another," said Conyers, who served 21 years in the military, including two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. "I really believe there are more veterans that could benefit from this program. You can get out of the woods and back into society."

Conyers glanced at the VOHHR founders and smiled. "I'm glad that they caught me before I hit that bottom," he said.

 Lloyd Thorne, left, and Helen Shaut finish their first raffle at VFW post 8087 in Mount Dora on Wed, May 25th 2011, The drawing was pulled by Mrs. Lori Smith a member of the woman's auxiliary at post 8087. 1st place T.V winner went to Mrs Tonia Snelson and 2nd place winner went to Miss Kay Johnson.


Toney Mobley shares a laugh with Danny Conyers, right, during a lighthearted moment in a group session at the V.O.R.R.H. house in Eustis, Florida 

Danny Conyers, left, listens as Lloyd Thorne conducts a group session on the theme of a second chance at the V.O.R.R.H. house in Eustis. 

 James Hagen, pauses in midday sun for a sip of coffee before starting his day by watering their home grown tomato plants.












 Veterans Organization of Resource and Recovery for the Homeless









Toby Keith American Soldier...

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