MUNCIE, Ind. — It’s not at all what Nate Jones was expecting to see when he walked into a home on the east side of Muncie this week.
“There’s no flooring. There’s no sheeting for flooring. There is some joists there. There’s obviously bones for the walls and things like that, but there is no drywall, no carpet. There is no electric to even see these things,” explained Jones of what he saw when he went inside the house.
These are the conditions Jones said a 77-year-old Muncie man had been living in at least for the past year, just trying to make it before the health department told him they were going to condemn his house.
“He told us, ‘The health department’s trying to kick me out, and I’m not going. I can’t go. This is my home,’” Jones recalled, explaining that the man doesn’t want his name used, but Jones, who works for the Veterans' Affairs office in Delaware County, wants you to know the man served his country in Vietnam.
“To see what this man sacrificed for his country to turn around and be 77 years old and living the way he is, in my mind, is just not acceptable,” said Jones, who put out a plea on Facebook. “Right now, we need funds, as much funds as possible, to be able to try and fix whatever it is that needs to be fixed."
Jones said the man had a tough time asking for help.
“Nobody knew he was living this way whatsoever, and it’s because he told me, ‘Nate, it’s because I’ve never asked anybody for anything in my life, and I want to continue to do so,’” said Jones.
On a fixed income of $1,300 a month, the veteran had no choice.
The job he was working at, setting up kiddie carnivals, took a hit this summer because of COVID-19, and he already used his savings to hire a contractor to try and fix his house.
“The contractor ended up running off with the money and not finishing the work,” Jones explained.
He’s hoping others will step up to help this veteran rehab his house so he’ll be able to stay in it.
“It just goes to show you, this man was willing to tough it out to the very end and live with absolutely nothing to be able to say, ‘This is my home,’” said Jones.
To help out, contact the Veterans Affairs office in Delaware County at 765-747-7810.