About 150 volunteers helped at the Tulsa Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event at First Baptist Church Saturday. The event aims to aid struggling veterans in becoming productive members of society.
Organizers estimate that between 150 and 200 homeless veterans came for assistance. Along with Veterans Affairs, volunteers and donors contributed free food, clothing, shoes, haircuts, manicures, legal help, resume assistance, and other resources.
Craig Prosser with Veterans Treatment Court said the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is aiming to end veteran homeless by 2015.
"That's a pretty lofty goal, but we're doing a lot of good things here in Tulsa," said Prosser.
Channel 8 sat down with veteran Jim DeLong, who used to be homeless. He suffered from serious alcohol and drug addictions, along with other medical problems. Close to 20 years after leaving the service, he got help from the V.A. He said many veterans become homeless through problems like PTSD and other traumatic experiences.
"It's what they've been through," said DeLong. He helped organize the event Saturday.
The event ran from 8 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. While it prioritized homeless veterans, doors opened later to assist others in the community dealing with homelessness.
If you are interested in helping area homeless veterans, you may contact Melanie Goldman at firstname.lastname@example.org or Craig Prosser at email@example.com.
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