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Original Article: ABC 7 Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) — Dennis Patton, a U.S. Army veteran, struggled to find the words to properly capture the emotions flowing through his heart as he toured his new home on Chicago’s South Side after living in a homeless shelter.

“It was a little rough around the edges but I managed to still hang in there and wait for the blessing,” he said.

Volunteers with Humble Design Chicago furnished and decorated his new one bedroom apartment. The nonprofit helps families and veterans trying to rise above homelessness.

“For me, one of the things that’s compelling about what is Humble Design, is Humble Design is dignity and stability,” said Julie Dickinson, the director of Humble Design Chicago.

Patton’s new home is in the old West Pullman Elementary School building. The school closed six years ago. Developer Celadon Holdings partnered with A Safe Haven Foundation to transform the school into affordable housing for seniors.

It’s called the West Pullman School Redevelopment.

Patton said he appreciates all the work by the volunteers to make him feel at home in this new chapter of life.

“This is exactly the way I would have done it. This is awesome. It is like winning the jackpot and a Christmas present at the same time,” he said.