Bruce E. Fyfe
The Community Service Award was given to Bruce E. Fyfe, executive vice president of ProVise Management Group LLC in Clearwater, Fla., for his dedication to the Homeless Emergency Project Inc., which provides emergency housing and permanent supportive housing and food for those in need around Clearwater.
As chairman of the board for 21 years, Mr. Fyfe helped to build the organization to almost 60 employees, with a $4.5 million operating budget. HEP now serves 400 clients a day and has an 87% success rate in keeping people for whom they have cared off the streets.
Mr. Fyfe and his wife personally raised $3.4 million to create a 32-unit complex that opened last year for homeless veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's dedicated to their son, who died in 2009 from the effects of severe post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq.
“The [Department of Veterans Affairs] does wonderful things, but they are a hospital system; they can't provide long-term transitional care for young men and women struggling with the ravages of mental illness caused by war. We are the only ones who can do it,” Mr. Fyfe said in an emotional speech accepting the award at a ceremony in New York last month.
He said the $20,000 that HEP will receive from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation will support the expensive recovery for two men or women for a year, including their counseling and other needs to get their lives back.
Mr. Fyfe's son Brendan died 23 months after returning from Iraq, where he was a combat marine in Anbar Province.
“There are so many kids like that, and they need someone to provide a safe place, a secure place and a place where they can actually take the time to heal,” Mr. Fyfe said.
Clients have been “hugely supportive” of Mr. Fyfe's charitable endeavors and HEP, he said. A month after his son died, clients had raised $400,000.
“I didn't even know what I was going to do with it, but they just said, "We trust you,'” Mr. Fyfe said.