By Kurtis Ming

VACAVILLE (CBS13) — Some veterans who have lived on the streets for years are moving into new homes with renewed hope. A new apartment complex in Vacaville is making their dreams of a better life come true.

Tim Hillstrom and his dog Patty used to live on the streets. Now, they live in the Rocky Hill Veterans Apartments in Vacaville. Hillstrom was the first person to move into the complex.

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Most of the 39 units at the complex are set aside for veterans, many of whom used to be homeless.

While people at the grand opening celebration toured a sample unit, Hillstrom invited CBS13 into his new home. He says it means so much just to have a bathroom after three-and-a-half years of living on the streets.

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“I used to have a bucket and a shopping bag. That’s what I used for a long time,” Hillstrom said.

Money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs helps pay the rent for the vets. Citi Community Development also provided funding through one of their initiatives called “Bring Them Homes”, in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the National Equity Fund (NEF).”

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Veterans working to turn their lives around can get one-on-one help at the complex.

After serving in the Navy, Hillstrom faced many obstacles including substance abuse, cancer, and violence on the streets.

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“I’ve had my fingers cut off. I’ve been stabbed, I’ve been burned. I’ve had a lot of things happen,” he said.

Now, he’s doing everything he can to help his fellow veterans live better lives. Hillstrom says his life now is proof it’s possible.

“Life is so good. I’m blessed. Home is where the heart and the dog is. This is my home and I’m not leaving for a long time,” Hillstrom said.

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The Rocky Hill Veterans Apartments are already half full. The project developers expect to have all of the units rented by the end of the month.