Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Homeless veteran handed keys to her dream home: 'It means everything to me'

Now that Navy veteran Miyoko Toy has moved into her apartment, she's looking forward to everything that comes along with having a place of her own.

"I'm excited to have keys," she said. "I'm excited to have a bed. I'm excited to be able to get up from my nap and make myself something to eat. It means everything to me."

Toy is the 1,500th homeless veteran in Southern California's San Bernardino County to receive housing through the Homeless Veterans Initiative. Launched five years ago, this collaborative effort between the county and local social service organizations identifies homeless veterans and helps them develop housing plans before getting them moved. For some, they might need prolonged rental assistance, while others need short-term help.

After leaving the Navy, Toy bounced from living situation to living situation. She learned about the San Bernardino County Homeless Veterans Initiative through a women's group for vets, and earlier this month, moved into an apartment. When she walked through the door, Toy jumped for joy and began clapping, looking around to see her new furniture and cleaning supplies. Now that she's settled, Toy said she is thrilled to have "a place to bring my family home to and share space with them." Catherine Garcia