GREAT FALLS — Navy veteran Lehn Bundrick had only been at Grace Home Veterans Center in Great Falls for 10 days as of Wednesday, but the center is already changing his life for the better.
"There are services and opportunities here. I'm going to be able to start my own business, which is called Big Poppa's, Little Mama's Comfort Food," said Bundrick. "The administrators here are great, the people are great. It's a great opportunity for the community."
The center serves as a transitional residence for homeless veterans, helping them get into permanent housing and even potentially get jobs.
Case Manager Nick Toyne said hundreds have been helped since the center opened in 2016. "Based on the feedback we've received, because we conduct exit interviews -- satisfaction interviews -- upon their completion of residency and so many of them have said they would not be able to achieve what they have without us,” Toyne said.
Barry Schilling is in his second stint at the center. Like the many veterans before him, he believes he wouldn't be where he is today without the center.
"Everybody's treated me really well. Without this place, I wouldn't have the opportunity that I have right now,” said Schilling.
Grace Home is at 2211 5th Avenue North; click here to visit the website.
During Great Falls' virtual Veterans Day ceremony on Wednesday, Colonel Anita Feugate-Opperman - the commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base - noted how supportive the community is to veterans.
"Thank you, Great Falls, for being a fantastic community that lives fondly in the memory of all who have served. Thank you, and happy Veterans Day,” Opperman said.