Posts Tagged ‘shelters’

This was a comment to Rebecca’s post on the gruesome and horrific murder of Forrest Clayton Salcido, a Navy veteran and member of Missoula’s homeless community.

I contacted Ellie Hill, the Executive Director of Missoula’s Poverello Center, and received her permission to repost her comment as a way to promote awareness on the problems veterans face.

Once again, I urge everyone to support the Poverello in any way they can… Donations can be made by clicking here, and those with spare time and tight budgets can volunteer by calling the Poverello’s Volunteer Coordinator, Brady Warren, at 728-1809.

Jamee Greer

* * *

I knew Forrest Clayton Salcido. He was gentle, and while small in statue, huge in heart. Mr. Salcido was brutally murdered as he desperately tried to flee his attackers. I was so ill this morning that I almost could not leave the house, but here I write from my cluttered desk at the Pov.

1 in 4 homeless people in the United States are veterans (while veterans make up only 11 percent of the general adult population).

Your homeless veterans in Missoula are no different. (And, actually here it may be worse as the State of Montana has the highest number of veterans per capita in the nation.)

At the Poverello Center, Western Montana’s largest emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen, we serve hundreds and hundreds of homeless vets each year. There are many vets sleeping in our overcrowded bunks each and every night, 365 nights a year. They are men and women from all branches of services and representing many different wars. Elderly and middle aged men are most common. Many folks suffer from mental illness and physical disabilities. Some have only recently lost their jobs or their families. Some have been injured on the job, and they don’t have medical coverage. Their car has broken down. Some are much more down and out. They all have amazing life stories. Their problems are often complex.

At the Pov we are seeing an alarming trend in the number of younger homeless veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, turning to the Poverello Center’s VA sponsored Homeless Vets Program for necessary services, mainstream resources, treatment and job assistance.

I am writing because this trend does not bode well for our future.

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