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Shelter's Remodel Helps Homeless Veterans Focus On Staying Sober

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Volunteers from Home Depot are putting the finishing touches on the Bryce House this weekend. Volunteers from Home Depot are putting the finishing touches on the Bryce House this weekend.
Workers install new flooring at Bryce House. Workers install new flooring at Bryce House.

A home for homeless veterans is getting a big makeover.

Volunteers from Home Depot are putting the finishing touches on the Bryce House this weekend.

Thirty-one veterans who live at Bryce House are recovering from various forms of substance abuse.

They say the remodel helps them stay focused on getting out of their addictions and being productive members of society.

"Anytime we have a project like this, everybody jumps at the chance to get out and help the community," Home Depot's Liz Allen said.

New floors and freshly painted walls are part of a $17,000 donation by the home depot to the Bryce House in Tulsa.

These Veterans were homeless and addicted to drugs or alcohol with only a backpack on their shoulders.

"Just got to get everything back in order," Navy veteran Demetric Ballard said.

Veterans like Ballard will spend up to two years here transitioning out of the program and into a full-time work.

"It feels brighter, it feels more homey--more peaceful," he said.

It's days like today he's reminded of where he started -- addicted to crack cocaine.

"And finally I had enough," he said. "I couldn't do it on my own, so I fell to me knees and prayed,"

He has about a year left in Bryce House---he hopes to one day be an X-Ray Technician.

Travis Warden, the program's director, had new floors for Bryce House on the wish list.

"We now have fresh new flooring where just a simple sweeping or moping of it takes care of it so we can focus on the counseling," he said.

Allen added: "It's been a transformational change from the white walls and kind of the dingy dirty carpet to what you see now."

For Ballard and his fellow veterans, they'll keep fighting to stay clean and sober.

"We keep each other together," Ballard said. "We keep each other in line. When one falls short, we try to pull that one up and motivate him to do better."

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