Joseph Lewis, an Army veteran, lost his job as a security guard, and then his home, when the osteoporosis in his feet prevented him from standing for long periods.
He lived on the streets of Coatesville, his hometown, because he did not want to burden his family.
The Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center housed him temporarily and helped him find work at a warehouse. This year, he set a goal to celebrate his birthday in his own home.
Lewis turned 50 on Saturday, a week after moving into his new two-bedroom apartment in Coatesville.
"I'm so happy I don't know what to do with myself," he said.
Lewis was one of 121 veterans - from young adults to seniors - who found permanent housing in Chester County in its latest campaign to house 100 veterans in 100 days. Wednesday was the 100th day of the campaign.
The number is up from 104 housed in last year's campaign. Chester County has more homeless veterans than other suburban counties because of the VA medical center, according to the Veterans Multi-Service Center in Coatesville.
The county's announcement on Thursday marked a year since Michelle Obama said a coalition of mayors, county officials, and governors had committed to the nationwide goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
Philadelphia has pledged to end it by Nov. 11 - Veterans Day. The city has housed 900 veterans over the last three years, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It has about 600 to go.
This week, Houston became the largest city to effectively end veteran homelessness. That means cases of homelessness are rare, are brief, and do not recur.
Historically, many people have seen homelessness as an insurmountable problem, so setting numerical goals helps local officials measure progress and gain confidence they can reach the 2015 goal, said Kelly Tuturice, a social work executive at the Coatesville VA center.
"These 100-day sprints, as we call them, basically hold us accountable," Tuturice said.
Other local counties, including Delaware and Montgomery, have had similar housing campaigns.
Officials say this year's figures in Chester County are up in part because the federal government gave the region more housing vouchers for veterans than last year. Last summer, the vouchers ran out.
Also, as word of the housing initiative spread, more agencies and landlords offered their help.
And, of course, the quickly approaching national deadline adds urgency, said Dale Gravett, executive director of the Housing Authority of Chester County, who led the county's push.
"The momentum," he said, "will not let up."