When a Vietnam veteran got caught up in a scam that involved relocating from Texas to Connecticut, he was left penniless, without a place to stay or even a car. However, police have thanked the local community in East Haven for rallying around the vet and helping him in his time of need.
Robert Chapin decided to move to Connecticut with his therapy dog, Lou Lou, and a woman who’d promised him companionship. But he never imagined that when he gave the woman the last of his money, she would disappear, leaving him alone and penniless in a strange place.
Without a place to stay, Chapin sold his car to cover the cost of a hotel room.
Soon thereafter, the East Haven Police Department was called to the Quality Inn on E. Frontage Road due to a guest’s inability to pay. There, they met Chapin and Lou Lou.
According to a press release from the East Haven PD, police sergeant Joe Mulhern, Officer Jon Trinh, and Officer Jack Messina soon learned that Chapin was a Vietnam veteran. He told them he’d realized he was the victim of a scam, and said he hadn’t eaten in several days.
Moved by his story, the officers stepped in to help. They fed him and supplied him with additional meals. The Quality Inn also agreed to put up Chapin and his therapy dog for another night while officers worked to find suitable shelter for the pair.
Officials worked with the Columbus House Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, an organization that collaborates with the La Quinta Hotel to house veterans in need.
After screening, Chapin and Lou Lou were set up with housing at the La Quinta on Long Wharf. The East Haven Public Works Department pitched in, too, helping move Chapin’s belongings to his new temporary home.
According to the East Haven PD, they were initially called for a trespassing complaint.
In a press release, the department wrote, “What started out as a trespassing complaint, has become an example we all need fresh on our minds going into the holiday season.”
They went on to thank the organizations involved, including The Quality Inn, Chili’s Bar and Grill, La Quinta Inn, and the East Haven Public Works Department, for helping a stranger in need.
“Far too often, veterans, the people who have selflessly put their lives on the line to secure our way of life find themselves in a position where they need our help as individuals and as a community,” they stated.
They went on to encourage the community to help veterans struggling with homelessness by contributing to or volunteering with the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness.
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