“I don’t want to just do stuff,” RD says, bending over the rusty derailleur of an old Schwinn. “I want to bring it up.” He had been struggling with addiction in Fort Collins when he decided it was time to clean up and get back to his normal life. He went to Weld County Veteran’s Services in Greeley, where he was told about Fort Lyon and put on the waiting list. “This doesn’t sound like a normal place,” he remembers thinking. He had visions of a military prison.
The residents of Fort Lyon have taken ownership of the place. It needed work to get to the state that it’s in today, and residents participated in the HVAC installation and the replacement of sewer lines, along with general maintenance, painting, and routine groundskeeping.
In a corner of one of the dorms at Fort Lyon, DV. has set up a little barber shop next door to the room where he sleeps. He’s got a chair, clippers and scissors, all the tools of the trade donated by the owner of a pawn shop in town. That same building houses the campus’s library, coffee shop, and computer lab, and the shop where residents can purchase snacks and personal hygiene products.
WL & TY
WL and TY enjoy a moment of calm outside the sweat lodge on the edge of the Fort Lyon campus. They appreciate the sense of solitude that Fort Lyon offers, away from what TY calls the static of the city, all the hardship, all the troubles.