Fair and Breezy
Pressure : 29.98 in
Dewpoint : 57.0 °
Wind : South
Grand Island hosts "Stand Down" event for homeless
We've been talking a lot about the cold weather lately. Luckily, for most of us we can seek refuge in the comfort of our homes. But, what about the people that can't?
Project Homeless Connect and Stand Down for Veterans are joining forces to help with that.
There are a lot of services from health and dental care to housing and employment resources at the event. News 5 met an army veteran at the event who was willing to share his incredible story with me.
"I really wasn't able to participate in society while I was addicted," said Marco Moreno.
He was addicted to prescription pain pills.
Moreno has tinnitus which causes hearing loss and ringing of the ears.
And like many veterans he suffers from PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder.
"Part of the reason I turned to the meds was kind of to cope with those things," Moreno said.
But, he's found a light at the end of the tunnel: the VA.
"I'm doing a lot better with it. Just trying to do everything I can to get back on my feet," said Moreno.
He's living in VA transitional housing for now. It's just one of the ways they're trying to help those who have fought for us.
"We have a goal to end veteran homelessness by 2014," said Linda Twomey, VA Services.
This is the third Stand Down for Veterans event in Grand Island. But, it's the first time they're teaming up with Project Homeless Connect and joining forces to combat the same problem.
"On any given night there's at least 50 to 100 people sleeping on park benches," said Hope Harbor Executive Director Melissa DeLayt.
Homeless and near homeless people can find a hot meal and a little prick that will keep them healthy through the winter.
But, more than that, Moreno is hoping to find information on educational benefits.
"I want to major in human relations," said Moreno.
He dreams of helping veterans like himself.
"Having had the experience I hope I can be a good mentor, counselor, whatever I choose to do," Moreno said.
Thursday was the only day for the event. But, if you or someone you know needs assistance you can contact Hope Harbor.
And for veterans the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System offers a lot of assistance.
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