There's a new house in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, that's aiming to make the transition for returning veterans a little easier.
Kristin Perelli started the Thomas Jerome House to give veterans, specifically those who are recovering from brain injuries, a place to call home. The beginnings of the organization go back a few years, when Perelli says she met her friend T.J. at college in Scranton. After school, T.J. (short for Thomas Jerome) went into the army, while Perelli returned to New Jersey to become an occupational therapist. Their paths would not cross again for years, until one day when T.J. came home from the war in Iraq badly injured. Suffering from a traumatic brain injury, he was taken for treatment at a center in Bethesda, Maryland — which is coincidentally where Perelli was working at the time.
The experience inspired Perelli to found the Thomas Jerome House, which she named for T.J. Furniture was donated by friends and neighbors, and a local company offered to make the home wheelchair accessible. Now, four to five veterans recovering from brain injuries will have a comfortable place to live and receive their at-home medical treatment.