An annual event sponsored by the Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center is working to connect Mississippi's homeless Veterans with services they desperately need. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Forty-year old Roselyn Hutton, is a U.S. Navy Veteran from Utica. When she was going through a divorce and attending college, Hutton says her G.I. Bill benefits didn't cover the cost of living during breaks, holidays and summers. She and her 9-year old son ended up going from house to house staying with people. Hutton sought help from the homeless program at the Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson.
"And I was able to utilize their services in order to be able to sustain life and still be able to go to school and still drill a little while and still take care of my son," said Hutton.
Hutton, says she now works as a medical supply technician at the VA facility and she's a homeowner. Hutton is at the medical center's annual Standdown event in Jackson encouraging homeless Veterans to take advantage of all the services available. Kimberly Moore is with the medical center. She says state and community agencies link Veterans with services that include finding a job, housing and medical care. Moore wants to make it convenient for them.
"To prevent Veterans from having to go here for one thing, another place for another, bringing all the services under one roof. This is where Veterans can come, they can fellowship with their fellow Veterans, relax, and just get back on their feet with this resources," said Moore.
Moore says 150 to 200 homeless Veterans attend the program. Navy Vet Roselyn Hutton tells them:
"We deserve it. We served this country. It's important to know what benefits and what things are available to us," said Hutton.
A Standdown event is scheduled for September 29, in Greenville.