More help available for homeless veterans


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Soon, $4.6M will go out across the country to help get about 60,000 homeless veterans back on their feet.  Close to half of a million of that will be used here in Indiana.  It’s all part of a plan by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to end homelessness among veterans by the end of next year.

Community Action of Northeast Indiana – also known as CANI – has helped veterans over the last three years who faced losing their home or were already homeless.  Now that CANI will have more resources, there’s hope they can get even more vets back on their feet.

“They’ve helped me out a lot. They’re just a little slow, but it works,” Navy veteran Don White said.

Don White, a formerly homeless veteran in Fort Wayne, now has his own apartment and can rest comfortably knowing it is home.  All thanks to the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program.  A program that will soon get a big boost!

“We’re very excited. Any time we get to help a large group of people especially veterans we are very proud of that and very anxious to get started,” Director of Program Operations at CANI Pam Brookshire said.

CANI will get an additional $445,000 to help out at risk or homeless vets in 27 Indiana counties [Adams, Allen, Blackford, Cass, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Madison, Miami, Noble, Randolph, St. Joseph, Steuben, Tipton, Wabash, Wells, Whitley, Fulton, Marshall, and Pulaski].  The program pays for up to five months of rent, a deposit and utilities.

The only problem:  CANI program director Pam Brookshire says they’re having a hard time finding those vets in need.

“What we have found out is it is more difficult on the front end convince them this service is good for them and we can help them no longer be homeless and then once they partake of the services they have a really great outcomes. They don’t slip back into homelessness.”

White is certain if CANI pairs with other local agencies they’ll find them.

“They’ll find them if they work with homeless shelters like the VA, the VOA. There are a lot of veterans where that’s all they need is a little bit of help to get on their feet,” White said.

Anyone in need should call 211.

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