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New Mexico to share in veteran homeless prevention grants

Colton Shone
September 05, 2016 07:39 PM

Getting back on two feet after being homeless is never easy. It’s especially difficult for veterans. New Mexico has been awarded millions of dollars in homeless prevention grants, and it’s already helping people right here in the metro.

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Every Friday hundreds of veterans show up to the New Mexico Veterans Integration Center for a vets-only food bank. This center not only tries to keep vets from going hungry, they try to keep them off the streets.

“There was some desperate situations, I was out on the streets going from place to place, looking for food and housing,” Navy veteran Anthony Mora said.

A few years ago, he fell into a bad time: no money, nowhere to go, homeless for two years. If it hadn’t been for this center, he said he might still be in that situation.

“It’s definitely something that you see that’s prevalent in our community; vets coming back from war, getting out of the service and not having anywhere to go,” Mora said.

A federal grant helped Mora get into subsidized housing. New Mexico just got a $2 million from the Veterans Affairs Department to keep this going. 

“Depending on the situation, we can authorize up to five months of rent,” said New Mexico Veterans Integration Center Deputy Director Fermin Ortega.

He said there is a 75 percent success rate of veterans who are able to get back into the workforce and have stable housing after they get help.

“We’ve been able to provide services to about a thousand families, but we’re still working toward providing services and we really want to reach out to all the homeless families out there that have veterans in their family,” he said.

Ortega said this grant is renewable, so he’s hoping they can help a lot more vets for years to come. 


Credits

Colton Shone

Copyright 2016 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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