Non-Profit Wants To Build Village for Homeless Veterans

WICHITA FALLS - It's safe to say one homeless veteran in Texoma is one too many, but those at Faith Mission said they see vets far too often.

One Wichita Falls non-profit is hoping to get the community's support to build a village for homeless veterans.

The North Texas Veteran Relief Fund already helps veterans in Texoma with financial needs, but they feel more should be done.

Members believe a 50 home village, called Texoma's Homes for Heroes, would not only house homeless veterans, but provide them with a sense of belonging in the community.

Faith Mission Site Director Clay Kahler said they see about 150 people a month, with 50-60 percent of those veterans.

"Anybody could wind up here," Kahler said. "For veterans, it's especially heartbreaking because of their service."

The North Texas Veteran Relief Fund is hoping to change that.

"They were willing to put their lives on the line for our safety and our families safety and we can't even make sure that they have a roof over their head," said Chairperson Chris de la Garza. "We're not able to make sure they see a doctor when they need to see a doctor."

Wichita, Archer, Clay, and Wilbarger are the target counties the non-profit helps veterans get the care they need.
   
In those counties, de la Garza said 10 percent of veterans are at risk of being homeless. She said that does not include the number who already are.

"How do we get them back to a stable footing, on their feet, and ready to function independently again," she said.

De la Garza said they're hoping to build a tiny home village that will help veterans transition back into civilian life, while giving them the medical and mental health assistance they need.

And Kahler does recognize that noble idea comes with concerns.

"One of the problems with the housing first concept is we've seen a lot of our clients get housing, but they continue to live a lifestyle as though they're homeless and they wind up losing there housing and going right back into the streets," said Kahler.

De la Garza agrees, but said their main focus will be on those vets who truly want the help.

She said they're looking to raise somewhere around $250,000 for the village of 50 small homes to possibly be built in the East Side community.

They plan to raise the money through donations and they're going to apply for grants, too. They also hope for volunteer labor.

For information on how you could help, click here.


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