Fort Lauderdale veteran receives new home thanks to local organizations

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Fort Lauderdale Army veteran and his family can now live the American dream in a new home, thanks to some South Florida organizations.

It was quite the hero’s welcome for Mackenzie Beaucejour and his family.

“It already feels like home,” said his wife Cindy.

After a celebratory escort to their front door, the retired U.S. Army specialist was at a loss for words.

“I can’t really articulate what’s going on. I’m just really grateful,” he said.

The generous gift was made possible through a collaboration between Bank of America and the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals.

Together, they have been at work to combat homelessness among veterans via a special program.

“This House A Vet Property Donation program was developed to give all active military veterans, as well as their surviving spouses, an opportunity to own a home,” said President of the Miami Chapter of VAREP Peter Ripich. “That is the American dream — home ownership,”

“Bank of America made a commitment to donate more than a thousand homes to military veterans and also to first responders,” said the bank’s Broward County market president Lori Chevy. “We’ve far exceeded that goal in the first two years.”

Beaucejour struggled when he returned home after his service in the Iraq War.

“I had a whole bunch of sleep issues as far as [post-traumatic stress disorder], insomnia and sleep apnea,” he said. “It was hard for me to hold down a job, so eventually I lost my car, my home to foreclosure, and eventually that led us to actually be homeless.”

The family was saved by the program, which educates veterans on financial literacy and home ownership.

“This is what we prayed for, and to see God put so many people in place to bless us, I’m really grateful to everyone,” said Beaucejour’s wife, Cindy.

The fully decorated home was donated mortgage-free. All the family has to do is move in.

“This is going to be the place where my kids could grow up and run around and just be in a safe environment. I’m just — it’s a lot of emotions,” said Beaucejour.

Once the family is settled, the Beaucejours said they look forward to paying this gift forward by helping another military family.

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