Retired Veteran and Spouse Turn to Handmade Bracelets to Overcome Homelessness — How We Can Help

One of the challenges that many servicemen face when they return to civilian life is being a homeless veteran, which is often due to difficulties in finding livable income and affordable housing.
Bob and Kim Gough, a Korean War veteran and his wife, have been facing homelessness since July 2023.
The homeless veteran and his spouse are forced to sell their handmade bracelets and keychains in an effort to raise enough money to build a house in Ohio.

Even though they are going through hard times, the couple is strong and loves being together. Creating and selling handmade bracelets and keychains is a part of their daily routine. It’s not just about saving money, but also about spreading love within their community.

Kim, a resident of Anderson Township who moved from Indianapolis to be closer to family, puts her heart into crafting each bracelet, spending countless hours from dawn till dusk.

«All the bracelets I create are handmade with love,» Kim shared, mentioning that there are days when she starts crafting as early as 4:30 a.m. and continues until 10:30 p.m.
Kim keeps going out in all kinds of weather to sell bands at nearby craft shops all day, making sure they have what they need.
People can pay whatever amount they can afford for her artwork.

At times, she generously gifts bracelets, symbolizing her unwavering belief that things will work out in the end.
She describes a memorable experience at Kroger, where she gave away approximately 50 bracelets at no cost.
Bob, a homeless veteran who served in the Korean War from 1952 to 1953, receives healthcare assistance from Veterans Affairs, which helps with his medication expenses.
«The VA really helps me with my health care.» Bob Gough mentioned that he takes seven medications daily and two at night, and he expressed gratitude for having the cost covered.

Even in the face of difficult situations, the couple continues to see the bright side.
When Diane England came across the Goughs’ story, she was moved and decided to share their handmade jewelry on Facebook, urging the community to show their support.

The feedback was beyond what was anticipated, as individuals showed a readiness to buy bracelets and offer assistance.

Diane was truly touched by the community’s generosity, highlighting the incredible support they received and the willingness of people to assist those in need.
She said, «It’s gone crazy. People often share it and reach out to me asking, ‘Where is she?’ I want to help,’ buy a bracelet or help out’ or whatever. I love our community. Everyone is always eager to lend a helping hand.»

Bob, a homeless veteran, shares his gratitude towards the people of Cincinnati and the surrounding area for their support, advice, and assistance despite facing challenges.

In the period from 2010 to 2022, there was a significant 55.3% decrease in the number of homeless veterans, attributed to ongoing initiatives aimed at addressing veterans’ housing requirements, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. 

But there has been a seven percent increase in 2022 and 2023.
Even after all they’ve done for the country, veterans and civilians alike encounter challenges with homelessness.

Everyone struggles to find a cheap home and make ends meet during tough economic times. For veterans, the problems are made worse by the fact that they have been deployed more than once for long periods of time.
Veterans may have trouble finding stable homes because of these problems, which shows how important it is to have complete support systems.

Research indicates that veterans from the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras are at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness. Meanwhile, veterans who served in recent wars and conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan also encounter significant challenges.

After coming back from deployment, many veterans are dealing with brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Certain mental health issues have been linked to a higher likelihood of experiencing homelessness.
Witness the touching story of the homeless veteran and his wife as they sell bracelets and spread love. Watch the video below:

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