In early June, Sadie Villagas a City of Madison employee, with the assistance of James Lofton, a homeless man, prevented a despondent woman from jumping to her death from the roof of Monona Terrace.
The Common Council honored both individuals later in June at a council meeting. We noted at the time that both of them put themselves in danger to save the life of another.
At the time, Mr. Lofton told us he was a veteran. He served two tours during Operation Desert Storm and one in Bosnia. Tom Conrad of Housing Operations made inquires with the federal Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (VASH), about housing opportunities for Mr. Lofton. Thanks to Tom's efforts and those of others, James now has an apartment and is enjoying life on the east side of Madison.
This is another example of the compassion and thoughtfulness of city of Madison employees and how their work can benefit those in need.
I am delighted for James who reports that he likes his apartment and his neighbors and is currently interviewing for a job. His couragous actions in June have paid off far more than he ever imagined. He remains humble and appreciative for the assistance he has received.
It is my understanding that the VASH program has assisted other homeless veterans in Madison; one is now a staff person with the program and another recently obtained an undergraduate degree and is considering pursuing a graduate degree. I thought it would be nice to share some good news and to celebrate James' continued successes.