Bank of America, Operation Homefront donate home to Matthew Sheffel

San Antonio veteran, single Father of 5 used to live in tiny cabin

SAN ANTONIO - A medically-retired San Antonio veteran struggling to make ends meet for his five children got the keys to a new home Monday, thanks to Bank of America and Operation Homefront.

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"I honestly don't' think it's sunk in yet," Staff Sgt. Matthew Sheffel said of his new home.

The 2,000-square foot, three-bedroom, two-bath mortgage-free home is in sharp contrast to the tiny rural cabin that Sheffel used to live in that was only accessible by boat.

"It's finally one more stress that's been lifted," Sheffel said.

Sheffel, who served in the military for 12 years, returned from a tour in Iraq to a broken marriage and instantly became a single dad to his kids. For the past three years, he's raised an 11-year-old girl and 6-year-old quadruplets.

Sheffel had problems providing a good home for his children.

"I kind of lost my faith in community and things," Sheffel said.

The cabin wasn't a suitable place for children, and he risked losing custody of them if he couldn't find a better place to live. Over the years, the family lived with family, friends or apartments.

"We were just going from place to place, not really having something that's ours and that's stable," Sheffel said.

That's when Sheffel went to Operation Homefront for help.

If the home, itself, wasn't enough, there was a surprise for the family in the garage, where they found piles of household items that were donated by Bank of America employees.

Now, after years of struggle, Sheffel believes this is a turning point to living the American dream. He's taking paralegal courses and said he looks forward to starting a new life with his children in their new house.

To view a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.


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