November 23rd, 2009
09:51 PM ET

CNN Hero Roy Foster: Stand Down House

CNN Heroes

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/02/19/heroes.roy.foster/art.roy.foster.cnn.jpg caption="Roy Foster's facility, Stand Down House, has helped about 900 male veterans since 2000."]

Following a faint trail through a dense patch of woods in Florida's Palm Beach County, Roy Foster is a man on a mission.

Foster, 53, is searching for homeless veterans - and he knows where to look.

Whether in a vacant lot behind a supermarket or a small clearing off the highway, homeless vets aren't that hard to find: One in three homeless adults has served in the military, and more than 150,000 veterans nationwide are homeless on any given night, according to the Veterans Administration.

Working with the sheriff's homeless outreach unit, Foster finds vets camped in tents or makeshift lean-tos, where he delivers a message: There's help for you if you want it.

"For our heroes to be living in [these] conditions, it's totally unacceptable," said Foster.

Since 2000, approximately 900 veterans have found life-changing help at Foster's facility, Stand Down House. Named for the military command that gives troops time to rest after arduous duty, the program provides homeless male vets food, shelter and a safe place to recover, as well as the tools to conquer their personal problems.

Find out more about Foster’s organization.


Filed under: 360° Radar • CNN Heroes
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Lori

    GOD BLESS YOU ROY FOSTER!!!!!! It is not like I am unaware of the current situation with many of our DEAR loyal Vets being homeless, but every time I hear it again I get sick to my stomach!!!! Even though I am unemployed (soon to be 2 years), I make sure I give to the DAV almost every time it comes in the mail! I have been an honorary member of the Commanders Club for quite a while for my giving. Although that means a lot to me, I don't have to be honored for my involvement to try and do my part to help our HONORABLE vets!!! I am 46 years old and every time I think about this it blows my mind that this is AT ALL a problem in the United States of America!!!!! My Lord, these men and women put forth their belief in this country and risked their lives for us and they live on the street! I am appalled that this country that I too love can allow this to continue to happen!!! We need a Roy Foster here in Albuquerque, NM and in every state in the US!! I would love to help do my part physically as well! I sustained a bad back injury 3 years ago but that's nothing compared to what some of these vets have to deal with physically AND emotionally! I would be more than willing to help so please tell me what I may do here to be part of the solution. I do not know how so many people can sleep at night knowing that this is going on!! God Bless each and every Vet out there and send blessings to ALL of them Lord!!! Thank you for reading my comment CNN, I really do trust CNN for all my news needs and know that they inform me on REAL issues that truly matter!!
    Sincerely, Lori

    November 24, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  2. Job Toussaint

    After watching the excerpt on Roy Foster, the capacity of someone's selflessness deems this gentleman the CNN Hero of the Year award, in my opinion. The services, our veterans have chosen to do should never be met with homelessness after their tour. I thank them, and Mr. Roy Foster for the unparallelled service in and out the war zone.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  3. Cj Armstrong

    This was wonderful to see. Thank you for sharing this on CNN
    We all need to see more of these type of stories. The average American has no idea how fortunate they are. My question is why do our armed services talk about No Man Left behind, but when our men are injured they are not getting the help they need.

    It takes people like this gentlman who knows what it is like to be left without a means to help himself. To start a God Send place for people. Where is the help from our government.
    I know what I am saying as I have been watching this for 10 years with my own son who was injured. I am seeing first hand how the VA is trying to push a man aside who is a good person.

    Thank you Mr Roger Foster for being the kind man you are. You are to be applauded.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  4. Tammy, Houma, LA

    What an amazing gift to give back to your brothers! As part of a military family, thank you for helping our brothers, fathers, sons, grandsons, sons, boyfriends, nephews, and cousins when they most need that hand up (and sometimes simply that hand held). Programs like this make the horrors of what could be once our loved ones return a little less scary to imagine.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm |