This story first appeared on NBC News3 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 23.
A homeless veteran and his one-year-old daughter now have a place to call home. We first introduced you to them last week as they were getting some much-needed help.
Eric Jackson was pushing a stroller with his daughter Jerica inside, last week at the Veterans Stand Down event at Cashman Center. He was looking for a place to live. A week later, the army veteran is in his own apartment.
One-year-old Jerica Jackson has a new set of keys (toy keys). Her daddy Eric Jackson certainly does.
“When I got the key in my hand, it was like ‘Wow, this is really it!’ To some degree it was gratifying,” said Jackson.
These two had been living in a shelter as of a week ago but now thanks to the help of the U.S.VETS — Las Vegas organization, they have their own place; a place where Jerica can roam free with her toys; a place where this single father and child can just be free.
“I know we have a house, we have food, and I have the necessities of life right here. And you can also just add to that the comforts of it’s just us. We don’t have to worry about anything going on, except for what we do. We close the door, it’s just us,” said Jackson.
Jackson appreciates the simple stuff in life, like making his daughter a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.
His road to getting back on his feet has been loaded with challenges. It took awhile, but just last week, U.S.VETS immediately made a difference in Jackson’s life and is helping him find a job.
“They get to think about the future now. I think there’s something so beautiful about realizing this is a new start for them. This is hope and a move in a positive direction,” said Shalimar Cabrera, U.S.VETS — Las Vegas Executive Director.
For now, the two are just enjoying their new home.
“But believe you me, this is a mansion to me. This is a mansion to me and her. This is our home,” said Jackson.
As Jackson settles into having a roof over his head, U.S.VETS is working with him — going to classes, building his resume and applying for jobs.