Browns Backers support Winchester’s Journey Home for veterans


WINCHESTER, Ind. — The Union City Browns Backers made another donation to The Journey Home, a facility for homeless veterans, located at 325 Oak St. here.

The Backers made their recent donation on Wednesday morning, with President Scott Stahl, Vice President Dave Johnson and Treasurer Darlene Long handing over the money to the new executive director, Eldon Solomon.

Stahl said the Browns Backers have contributed more than $1,000 to the facility in its three years of existence.

The first year, they presented the proceeds from a Johnny Manziel helmet project, and the past two years presented proceeds from their 50/50 drawings.

“We meet at Danny’s Place in Greenville [Ohio] four to six times a year to watch the game and we hold 50/50 raffle during that time,” Stahl said.

Solomon said The Journey Home has a capacity for 12 homeless veteran residents, but only has 11 there.

He said other the facility also receives donations of clothing and food in addition to monetary donations.

These contributions help, Solomon said. And, when the residents find new residences, they will need items to get them started in their new life.

“The chronic homeless are defined by HUD, and a veteran must have been homeless for 12 months,” Solomon said. “Now our focus is to find them independent housing in three to six months. The end result is to get them into their own homes.”

Until they leave, the veteran residents are taught special skills, including preparing their own meals.

Solomon said The Journey Home opened its doors in 2014, thanks to Mike Kennedy and his wife, former director of the facility.

“This space was available,” Solomon said. “The initial operating funds came from the community and grants. Now, the community donates an awful lot. Ninety percent of the food comes from local residents. We have so much food, the kitchen is open 24 hours a day. We recently had four TVs donated to us.”

The office is manned, he said, for 12 hours a week by volunteers.

“We have an open-door facility,” Solomon said. “The best way to find out about us is to visit our Facebook page The Journey Home and like us.”

The mission is to offer long term, residential, transitional housing center for alcohol- and chemically-addicted veteran men that are 18 years or older.

The mission “recognizes that addiction is a long process that requires a strong support environment, which is exactly what will be provided. This facility will be comprised of highly motivated, experienced staff many of whom are themselves in recovery. The bondage of addiction, whether chemical dependence, gambling or other dependence, can and will be broken by the power of Jesus Christ.”

By Linda Moody

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This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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