Hope Connections close to ending veterans homelessness

Hope Connections close to ending veterans homelessness

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - All across the country, some of our war heroes who fought on the battle lines for our country are living on the streets.

Hope Connections in Shreveport has hit the streets of both Shreveport and Bossier City to get homeless veterans in the area out of the elements and into apartments of their own.

There are currently about 60 veterans in temporary shelters and according to Hope Connections, only 3 veterans left on the streets in the Shreveport - Bossier City area.

To get veterans off the street, Hope Connections goes into homeless camps 3 times a week to gain their trust and brings them into temporary shelters until they can be placed into permanent housing.

They are not placed in government housing, but rather in privately-owned apartments. Hope Connections says that landlords in the area are more than willing to open their doors to let the vets in.

"Most of the landlords are pretty accepting of when we move people to apartments because they come with their rent paid through a voucher program and attached to a case manager, so if they have any issues, they can call them and see about them," says Ryan Parker, assistant executive director of Hope Connections.

Veterans are required to pay 30% of the rent. Through a questionnaire filled out by the vets, they are able to find out if they are able to function on their own or if they need someone to check on them every day.

The organization says that once the vets are in their homes, it's hard for them sometimes to adapt out of survival mode and into becoming a normal citizen. Hope Connections says that sometimes you could be driving by a camp and not even know it.

"It is a completely different world that is right in the middle of our city. A lot of don't even know that it's there. We have camps in abandoned buildings that you drive past every day and you don't even know there that they're there."

They've been able to speed up the process by having all of the necessary people in one building. Everyone from the veteran's affairs office, to people who specialize in housing they are able to be a one-stop shop for these vets.

"We are in a collaborative building so we have the services and people in this building that we have access and get them services right away."

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