DeBorah Nance, known as "Dee," was 17 when her father, a World War I veteran, died.
She followed in his footsteps and joined the Army.
"I loved Germany and traveling, meeting people. I like people," Nance said.
Her love for people led her to a career as a nurse.
"I work for Henry Mayo Hospital now, been there 21 years. I've gotten awards because I treat my patients just as if that's my mom, my dad, my sister."
Nance was living in a rundown mobile home when her son encouraged her to contact Homes 4 Families Veteran Enriched Neighborhoods.
The organization provides permanent housing in a neighborhood context, focusing on moving low-income families up into the middle class through programs designed for veterans and their families.
"They have to meet their low-income levels and they come and they participate actively in educational programming and trauma-informed care," said Homes 4 Families CEO and president Donna Deutchman.
Most veterans spend hundreds of hours helping build their homes. But if they can't, that's OK.
"It is a 30-year monthly mortgage at the veteran's ability to pay. Nobody pays more than 30 percent of their monthly income for their homeowners association dues, for their mortgage, for their taxes and for their insurance," Deutchman said.
"In Santa Clarita, I never ever would believe that I would be able to buy a home," said Nance, who delights in the little things like the appliances and peach tree Homes 4 Families gifted her when she moved in.
"Every time I pull up, I'm blessed and every day I thank God and Homes 4 Families because without them I would not have this - I cherish my home."
SoCal organization helps veterans build and own homes
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