Homeless veterans receive shelter

Staff Report

January 18, 2014

As temperatures drop and snow remains in the forecast, several local veterans remain without a roof over their head.

This disheartening fact will soon change due to a local facility being built in Pike County. Land was donated by the Pike County Fiscal Court to give the shelter a location.

There are more homeless veterans than officials have a count of; however there are more than many people realize even if they’re not visible.

“In rural areas, it is harder to identify homeless people because they are not usually living in the streets of our town like they are in bigger cities. We have a lot of people out in the county living in substandard housing , in places not meant to be housing,” said Jackie Long, Director of Housing and Grants for the Mountain Comprehensive Care Center in an interview with WYMT.

Groundbreaking took place in April and the facility should be complete by the end of this month. This more than one million dollar building in Pikeville will house 25 homeless veterans.

“We’ve had the most wonderful outpouring of donations for the beginning of this center. Every room already has towels, blankets, sheets and toiletries for each of the rooms,” said Julie Paxton of MCCC.

MCCC and the U.S. Department of Labor have teamed up to find veterans a job in the local community. The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project works with veterans, who are homeless, received a discharge other than dishonorable and have been trying to find employment to get them a job.

If you know of a veteran in need of housing or job placement, they can call a case manager at 606-886-8572 to apply for the programs.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-248-1010 ext. 204, kgerhardt@civitasmedia.com.