By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many veterans will have a home for the holidays thanks to the help they get from the Minnesota Assistance Council of Veterans. Greg Langlois was hopeless and homeless, walking the streets of Minneapolis. But the veteran found a purpose — and a place to live — with the help of MACV.

For Army veteran Greg Langlois, music helps ease his mind. And there is no better place to relax and play than in his own apartment, the place he’s now grateful to call home.

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“Granted, it’s a little thin on furniture or whatever, but I got a bed to sleep on,” he joked.

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Langlois credits MACV for lifting him up when he was at the lowest point in his life. On June 6, 2018, he says be became homeless. In and out of two treatment facilities, he found himself with no where to go and no one who understood the pain he was in.

“I found myself down at the Mall of America with that backpack that is over there on my back, saying ‘OK God, here I am. This is it, this is truly it. Tonight I am going to have to sleep under a bridge,'” he said. “And then I’m sitting here with all this stuff in my head, and then I look on the ground there is a St. Stephens outreach packet … and I get to the back of it, there’s the MACV veteran services.”

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Langlois made the call. He did not have to spend that night outside because a MACV representative encouraged him to accept help.

“MACV said, ‘Look, you’re a vet Greg. Accept it, accept that, let them help you. You’ve got to want to be helped,'” he said. “Joe Wittenberg connected me with James. James got me down at the Days Inn.”

Langlois was able to use the hotel as a refuge while he put a plan together with MACV outreach workers to find transitional housing. But he also needed healing. Living at Building 47 with other veterans taught him valuable lessons, helping to clear his mind so he could focus on the future. With MACV’s help, Langlois landed a job at an extended stay hotel.

“We had MACV folks there and I was able to connect with some of these folks. And I’m going, ‘Dude, I was right there. I know where you are at.’ So I was able to share my story,” he said.

Langlois is not only comfortable in his own skin, he’s relaxed in his own space, grateful for MACV and how, with their help, he is finally home for the holidays.

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Langlois is looking forward to hosting his son, Logan, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry soldier, when he returns from his tour of duty.

Reg Chapman