, Salem, MA

Local News

June 27, 2013

Homeless veterans share new residence in Beverly

BEVERLY — Iraq veteran Ryan Doyle, formerly of the U.S. Army, doesn’t complain. After serving his country in a bitter war, he and wife, Kelli, found themselves living in a Boston hotel for six months. And despite having training in computers and high-tech communications, he wasn’t having much luck finding a job.

“I can fix anything,” said the North Andover native, as Kelli Doyle nodded enthusiastically. “I’ve got a lot of applications out.”

But it’s been tough even getting online from a hotel. The couple didn’t have a real address to put on those applications.

“And there was a fear,” Ryan admitted, “that we were going to end up in a shelter.”

That was yesterday. Today the Doyles’ address is 45 Broadway, Beverly, and they are decidedly upbeat, sharing an airy, high-ceilinged room with a private bathroom in a large Victorian home. Down the hall is a common kitchen and a laundry. There’s a garden in the backyard.

“I love it,” said Kelli Doyle as they enjoyed a quiet meal by three tall windows, the laptop on the table between them. “It’s nice to have a place where we can be together. And we like Beverly.”

The Doyles had to get special permission to move in as a couple, but they were there yesterday as the North Shore Veterans Counseling Services formally opened a new Broadway location for homeless veterans. It’s meant to provide housing for up to 13 people, said executive director Lynn Pellino. Before the cover came off the new sign, 11 people had already moved in.

Many are Vietnam veterans who pay $700 a month. A lot of that can be subsidized by various state and federal programs, Pellino said.

“We cater strictly to veterans, she said.

Firm rules — no drugs and no alcohol — keep out some.

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