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One Veteran’s Dream Comes Full Circle

  • Posted on Nov 8, 2021

Max Kent was born in Olean, New York, and graduated from St. Bonaventure University. In 1981 he married his hometown sweetheart Debbie. Throughout his military career, Max was a Commissioned U.S. Army Officer, serving in multiple positions as an Armor Officer, Operations Officer, and Logistics Operations Officer. He is highly decorated with numerous commendations for meritorious service and excellence and held positions of increasing responsibility within the Department of Defense. His 18 plus years of active federal service culminated as an Executive Officer of the Support Squadron in an Armored Cavalry Regiment. In this role, he was responsible for logistics operations in support of 4,500 soldiers, 1,400 vehicles, and 74 aircraft.

 

“Wherever I had been deployed, everyone that deployed with me, came home with me.”

 

Fast forward 26 years, Max is the Vice President of Operations & Chief Operating Officer for NewCourtland. His responsibilities include, but are certainly not limited to, coordinating operations and planning, new business development, corporate compliance, security, and major capital project implementation.

 

As selfless as his service to our nation, so is his dream to help veterans. While working with developers on a NewCourtland housing project, Max came across several blighted row homes that were formally military housing in the Wissinoming section of Northeast Philadelphia. In keeping with NewCourtland’s mission of making an area “better than when you found it”, the NewCourtland Veterans Housing Program was created. For the past 4 years, Max and his team have been in the process of rehabbing the properties and repurposing them as homeless veteran housing.

 

There are approximately 19 million veterans in the United States per the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, 37,252 veterans were experiencing homelessness. of that number, 22,048 veterans were sheltered, while 15,204 veterans were unsheltered.

 

“Every veteran deserves a stable home that helps them live a life of dignity, freedom, and prosperity in the country they so bravely served,” said Max. “Providing a permanent and safe home benefits the veteran’s overall and community health.” Studies show that access to affordable housing cuts down on emergency room visits, hospitalizations, arrests, and other high costs services incurred by veterans struggling to live without a stable home.

 

Of the 51 rowhomes that NewCourtland purchased, 22 are now occupied with once homeless veterans. The remaining 29 are being rehabbed for the same use. Throughout NewCourtland’s housing sites, there are a total of 33 veterans being cared for and housed.

 

One of the residents is Lieutenant Anthony Bevins. He is a disabled veteran currently living in NewCourtland’s Germantown Nursing Home.  Mr. Bevins was born in Philadelphia, PA on November 10, 1966. He has two sisters and is a father of five with one grandchild. Mr. Bevins was a Lieutenant in the Navy for four years.  “I was so proud to serve my country,” said Mr. Bevins. “I did it all for my Country! Hoorah!” After leaving military life, he worked in construction for 10 years. He enjoys sports, mainly basketball and football, and his favorite team are the EAGLES.  As a side note, Mr. Bevin’s mother, Ms. Lillie Bevins has been an employee at Germantown Home for over 48 years.

 

When asked how Max wants to be remembered, his answer came easy. “To work really hard at helping veterans.”

 

All servicemen and women play a vital role in protecting our country during war and peace. They take pride and honor in having served their country and each of them has a story to tell. Thank you, Max, for being a man of purpose and allowing NewCourtland to be part of this worthy goal.

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