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Ana and dog, Harley, at the dog walk at her new apartment complex.

Welcome home! Veteran moves into new apartment.

HomeFirst Services


We ensure our clients are set up to get housed and stay housed. Our team is with Ana every step of the way, ensuring she’ll be safe and housed a year from now and not just for the night or a week.”
— Kelly Sumner, Veterans Services Director, HomeFirst Services
SAN JOSE, CA, UNITED STATES, April 28, 2021 / -- WHAT: April, 28, 2021, San Jose, Calif. -- HomeFirst Services has partnered with developer Republic Urban Properties to provide a homeless woman veteran with a 15-month lease, including 12 months free rent, at Silver, a new apartment community in San Jose’s midtown district.

Moving in was a ‘pinch-me’ moment for Ana Espitia, a 10-year U.S. Navy veteran who, after being honorably discharged, worked as an RN at Stanford Hospital. As Ana stood in her one-bedroom apartment savoring the unique details and luxury finishes, she said, “I’m totally overwhelmed. This place is just beautiful – it’s gorgeous.”

On the premises was a pool/spa and fitness center but what excited Ana most was an on-site pet wash station where she could bathe her support dog, a chihuahua poodle mix named Harley. Just two months earlier, the two had been unhoused and sleeping in her car.

Ana had been stably housed but left her job at Stanford to care for her critically ill mother. After her mother passed away, the home they’d shared was given to a family member and marked for sale. Ana found herself unhoused and sleeping in her car with Harley. That’s when she first connected to HomeFirst's Veterans services.

Ana’s situation is a disturbing reality for many women veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, women veterans are more than twice as likely to become homeless as women who did not serve in the military.

Ana will live rent-free for a year through the support of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program as well as generous concessions from Republic Urban Properties.

“We are so grateful to Republic Urban Properties,” said Kelly Sumner, Veterans Services Director at HomeFirst. “This opportunity is a next step for Ana on her path to permanent housing stability and provides her a platform to pursue her goals of completing culinary school and starting her own business.”

Giving Ana her fresh start aligned with Republic Urban Properties’ charitable arm, Republic Cares, as well as the company’s Veteran’s Housing Initiative (VHI). “Our veterans serve our country with honor and some pay the ultimate price to preserve our freedom. Housing veterans and making sure they flourish when they return to civilian life is what Republic’s VHI is all about. Under the leadership of our chairman, Richard Kramer and Senator Bob Dole, we work with organizations like HomeFirst to assist local veterans in finding housing and ensuring they can take care of their families,” said Michael Van Every, Republic Urban Properties West Coast president.

Sumner hopes more will follow Van Every’s lead and consider renting to and/or prioritizing veterans, a crucial step to ending and preventing veterans’ homelessness.

HomeFirst coordinates a continuum of care that includes housing, healthcare, budgeting, education and other opportunities to enhance quality life. “We ensure our clients are set up to get housed and stay housed. Our team will be with Ana every step of the way, ensuring she’ll be safe and housed a year from now and not just for the night or a week,” said Sumner.

Ana offered the following advice for struggling vets: “Come out of your shell, talk to somebody and let them know what you’re going through and what you’re experiencing. [HomeFirst Services] will help,100% on everything from food and housing to keeping an emotional [support animal.]

HomeFirst Services and Republic Urban Properties invite media for a press conference at the Silver Apartments.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 from 10:00-11:00AM

Silver Apartments
333 Sunol Street San Jose, CA 95126

- Ana Espitia, 10-year U.S. Navy Veteran
- Andrea Urton, CEO, HomeFirst Services
- Michael Van Every, CEO, Republic Urban Properties

For interviews and more information please contact:

Media Contact:
Claire Sulek, PRxDigital
C: (408) 605-5734 |

Claire Sulek
+1 408-605-5734
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