United States Army Specialist Julian Bonilla lost nearly everything after hurricanes ripped through his home in Puerto Rico. There was no running water, no electricity, no medication, and no food.
Displaced, he brought his mother – herself a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran – and grandmother to York County to rebuild their lives in October 2017. He needed a place for him and his family to stay. He needed a job to support his family. He needed help.
As a veteran, Julian knew there were options out there to help him. But he didn’t know where to start. That’s where the YORKVETNETWORK came in.
The grassroots group of more than 60 organizations steps into action when a veteran needs help in York County. They can find housing, employment, food, transportation, basic necessities, and much more.
“It’s situations like this when you find out how many people love you and want to help you,” Julian says.
In his search, Julian came into contact with Bill Fallon, a veterans employment representative with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. Bill and Terry Gendron, director of York County Veterans Affairs, developed the YORKVETNETWORK in 2016 in an effort to get resources to local veterans who need them.
“There were a lot of organizations out there that helped veterans, but there was no communication,” Bill says.