‘The best feeling in the world,’ after a year of homelessness, a father finally has a home


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Kansas man is at ease Thursday. He has a place of his own and a lot of people to thank.

Steven Vera has not had a place to call home for a year.

“I just ended up losing a job and front here it just went downhill. It was hard to stand up on my two feet, made a lot of wrong choices,” Vera explained, “I was into drugs, things people really shouldn’t mess with.”

Vera thanks his new situation to a partnership with The Wichita Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team and an internship program that was started in February by the City of Wichita’s Housing and Community Services.

“I think when social workers and police officers work together we’ll see a lot more change,” pleaded Amita Martinez, an intern in the program who helped Vera find a new home for his family.

This partnership also allows the WPD HOT Team to focus on other issues in the city.

“Kind of take the burden off of us and get the experts in here to take over. Which frees us up to do more outreach and work on those calls and those people that are homeless out there,” said officer Nate Schweithale, member of WPD’s HOT Team.

For Vera, he believes his time on the streets is over.

“There’s no limit, you know what I mean?” Vera uttered. “I just can never fall down again, that’s my goal — to never fall down again.”

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