This blog is about how you can help us win the war on veteran homelessness.
There is no reason in the world why our veterans in America should be homeless.
America is a great nation, so it is a crying shame when a nation like ours can find money for just about any reason for anything, for any war, and etc., but we can not to take care of our wounded warriors.
It goes without saying that a veteran should never be homeless, but in America on any given night there are over two-hundred thousand homeless veterans. If you ask me, those 200,000 homeless veterans are 200,000 way to many.
Over 89 percent of our homeless veterans have a honorable discharge.
According to the VA, veterans are three time more likely to be homeless than any person on the planet.
20% of all of our newly homeless veterans are now women.
My name is Jerry Smales, I am the Founder and CEO of an organization named Local Homeless Veteran Outreach Inc.
For the first two years, I operated the organization living at my mom’s home after being a 10 year veteran from the Army National Guard and having multiple degrees from some of the most prestigious schools in the country, and I could not afford to have an apartment on my own.
After my ID was stolen in 1996, it was way too expensive to me to afford rent, utilities, cable, internet, trash, a lawyer to fight child support for two kids that are not mine, and paying back over $230,000 dollars in student loans that the military was suppose to have paid. I ended up homeless on the streets of Harlem, NYC.
Several times I contemplated suicide. I did not know what to do, so I prayed and maintained hope through faith that God would show me the way. I went back home and enrolled back into school, and one day an idea came to my heart. I follow that idea, and now I am in my own home with my family writing this message to you.
I am a Founder of a church called the First Church of Unconditional Love, a nonprofit called Local Homeless Veteran Outreach, and several for-profit organizations now. I take great pride in saving homeless veterans from the life of homelessness. I do this with the help of like minded people who understands the system needs fixing. Many people are clueless of how veterans become homeless. For example, there are two types of people I meet when I fundraise for the Local Homeless Veteran Outreach.
Those two people are totally opposite from each other. They are as clear as night and day. One donates, one don’t. One is typically happy, and the other sad and mad. One was in the military or was close to someone that was in the military, the other doesn’t have a clue about the military, and paradoxically, the latter, sometimes was in the military and swore to never leave their comrades behind. The nay-sayers think, “If I have done it, then they can do it too”. It is a shame how easily we forget how other people have helped us get to where we are in life.
Those non-veteran supporters say:
1. Veterans want to be homeless.
2. Veterans are all Convicts/Drug Addicts, and etc.
3. Veterans don’t want to work.
4. They don’t need help.
Unfortunately, some of the above is true but to a very little degree.
The people that don’t want to help our veterans look for any and every reason in the world not to donate a single penny for the veterans. I haven’t decided if these people don’t donate because they really believe the excuses, or they create the elaborate stories about homeless veterans to convince them selves to hold onto their money tightly.
The non-supporter of homeless veterans also say:
I donate to WWP, DVA, VFW, and etc.
I mail them a check every month.
I already served.
I only have plastic.
I am in a hurry.
I don’t believe in killing.
I think the government should help the veterans.
Some of these excuses are almost believable, but we know non of these excuses are going to help us save veterans from homelessness.
All of these excuses are the very reason why you should help us save our veterans from homelessness. Now is a time to get a pen and check book out, write the check out to Local Homeless Veteran Outreach. You can write the amount to the max that you can afford to donate for our veterans. Because of donations we were able to give one veteran a car, his name is John Waters. John was holding a sign that said something similar to “Will Work for Food” when I meet Mr. Waters in Charlestown, WV.
Apparently, Mr. Waters was living in a motel with his wife, kids, and mother in law because the military had not awarded him is benefits in a timely manner. John had his dog tags on and military ID when I spoke to him. We gave him money for the room that night, and then gave him the car after we had determined that John was drug and alcohol free.
If you want to see us save more veterans, write a tax deductible check out for any amount that you can afford. Then consider to make a commitment every month to the Local Homeless Veteran Outreach, 245 Antonio Avenue, Beckley, WV 25801.
Send it today before we lose another hero to homelessness.
Thank you and may God Bless you.