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Veterans across the country are struggling to find stable housing. This affordable housing community is ensuring Los Angeles vets have a place to call home.
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."


Communities like Veteran's Village are contributing to the national decline in homeless veterans. According to The Department of Housing and Urban Development, 793 fewer veterans experienced homelessness between 2018 and 2019.

That drop continued a steady decline over the past decade, as the number of veterans experiencing homelessness has fallen nearly 50 percent since 2009.

National Equity Fund (NEF), a nonprofit LIHTC syndicator and partner to Capital One, brought Veteran's Village to the bank, which responded by providing a $14.3 million construction loan and $15.6 million long-term equity investment through the purchase of low-income housing tax credits.

Courtesy of Thomas Safran & Associates

"Everyone deserves safe, secure, stable housing — especially the heroes that protect our rights and freedoms," says David Musial, a Capital One Senior Director of the Bank's Community Finance team, which specializes in financing affordable housing. "We are honored to be able to support communities like Veteran's Village as stable affordable housing is fundamental to physical and financial health and access to opportunity."

Veteran's Village strives to be more than just an affordable housing development. Its staff functions as a support system to help residents navigate their individual situations to ensure that each resident is equipped with the tools they need to thrive.

"Through the support of Capital One, we were able to provide much-needed housing for U.S. Veterans," said Amy Hyde of Thomas Safran & Associates, an affordable housing development and management organization whose properties include Veteran's Village. "Our goal is to enrich the lives of the people who reside in our buildings and Capital One's funding is helping us do just that," Hyde said.

For Jackson, that goal is realized through the sense of community throughout Veteran's Village.

"It's home for people who served their country and want to serve each other," Jackson said. "We take care of each other and we look out for each other. We're a family here."

In addition to supporting housing for veterans, Capital One supports affordable housing for residents throughout the Los Angeles area, including Vista Grande Court, an affordable development that supports people over 60 years of age and Palo Verde Apartments, which includes 49 affordable units with 25 reserved for formerly homeless veterans and their families.

Capital One's support to affordable housing communities in Los Angeles comes as part of its larger Capital One Impact Initiative, an initial $200 million, multi-year commitment to advancing socioeconomic mobility through advocating for an inclusive society, building thriving communities and creating financial tools that enrich lives.

Jackson said that while she is grateful for her living arrangement at Veteran's Village, there is a long road ahead in ensuring that every veteran has access to stable housing.

"I pray that there will be more communities like this built because there are so many of my veteran brothers and sisters on the streets that don't even realize their living situation doesn't have to be the way it currently is," Jackson said.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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