Thrift Store Owners Answer Call of Duty to Serve Homeless Veterans

Thrift shop owners in front of their shop.

Down the Road Thrift opened in 2017 after Jerry Vaughan and Bobbie Warner felt that not enough was being done to help homeless Veterans in central Florida. They decided to start furnishing Veterans’ homes free of charge.

“It’s not a matter of money. It’s a matter of honor and dignity for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Vaughan. “It falls on everyone to hold up those who answered the call to service, and this is my way of giving back.”

The entire thrift store is funded and furnished by community donations. A local hotel recently donated an unopened box of 146 coffee pots. A local pet store provides free dog food for service animals. And retired military leadership in a nearby neighborhood frequently provides donations.

To date, Down the Road has furnish over 122 Veteran apartments with free furniture and home necessities. But after an encounter with a local My HealtheVet coordinator, Vaughan said the store’s mission isn’t done. He’d like the store to serve as a one-stop shop for Veterans to receive community resources, including signing up for a My HealtheVet account.

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