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More government funds available to homeless veterans - KOAM TV 7

More government funds available to homeless veterans

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More government funding is available to help veterans who are homeless.

Larry Jordan has lived in a camper for a few weeks now.  "Right now, I'm just down on my luck," says Jordan.

His home is in a campground near Neosho, Missouri, where he pays monthly rent.  This army veteran who served one year in Afghanistan in 2003 says when he returned back home, he was shot in the face during a robbery.  

He says he's now disabled, unemployed, and could soon be homeless.  Jordan says the campground owner now feels Jordan's camper is unsightly and turning away business.

"If I can't stay here, I have to find somewhere else.  And that's just economically not feasible," says Jordan.

Daniel Bell, public information officer with Missouri's Veterans Commission, says, "Homelessness in the veterans population is a little bit higher than the average.  These are folks that have defended our country, and we need to do everything we can do to help them."

And more help has been appropriated.

The federal government will give a total of $7.8 million dollars to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Housing and Urban Development Department.

"What they're going to use them for is existing programs.  Maybe try to beef those up," says Bell.

But Jordan has been hesitant to claim veterans benefits.  "I've always been raised that you didn't ask for handouts," says Jordan.

"These are benefits that you have earned," says Bell.

Veterans affairs officials hope more veterans will claim what they have earned.

Veterans in the area who are in need of assistance can call the Missouri Veterans Commission in Mount Vernon.

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