LOCAL NEWS

SLC VA holds outreach event for homeless veterans

Oct 6, 2021, 2:01 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — A number of local organizations came together to help local veterans experiencing homelessness.

Homeless Veteran Stand Down was held at Salt Lake City’s Sunnyside Park on Wednesday. The event is designed to offer medical, legal and financial resources for veterans who are homeless or nearly homeless.

The Housing Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program helps around 680 veterans get vouchers for rent. It’s a program that benefited largely from federal CARES Act funding, but the event organizer said they ran out of those funds and are desperately needing help to keep giving back to veterans.

Salt Lake City coordinated entry specialist and outreach coordinator Meisha Jensen said the housing market in Salt Lake City has become too expensive for many veterans.

“There are a lot of landlords that are increasing their rents or they’re selling their properties and new landlords are buying them and increasing the rent, so we are seeing a lot of veterans, especially senior veterans, that are being priced out of their housing,” Jensen said.

Veterans like Christopher Cambell who are experiencing homelessness said it’s not easy to accept help.

“We’re timid, you know,” he said. “We don’t think we are understood at times. We lean on our other veterans. We .. it’s a brother-and-sister pack.”

At the event, veterans were given food, blankets and clothes and received medical, legal and housing advice.

Another event is scheduled for January 2022 in St. George. A date hasn’t yet been decided.

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SLC VA holds outreach event for homeless veterans