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Bay area homeless Veterans get help finding permanent homes

4:12 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A mobile outreach program that helps homeless veterans find permanent homes while getting their lives back on track made a stop in the Bay area.

Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County along with the Department of Veteran's Affairs have come together to help get homeless vets off of the streets.

The program helps veterans with things like assessing their needs, exercising their benefits and if needed get them the appropriate mental health and substance abuse counseling.

Harry Mccurdy heads up the Homeless Veterans Program and hopes that it is making impact.   

"It's been a very beneficial program to bring veterans that normally maybe never would have been housed get them off the streets and keep them permanently housed," said Mccurdy.

Theodore Triplett, one of dozens trying to get help at Lykes Gaslight Park on Wednesday, is a homeless Army Veteran has lost 2 children, does not have any friends or family to turn to and is living on the streets of Tampa. 

Theodore has been homeless on and off for the past 2 years says that he sleeps outside at night and walks nearly 2 hours each day just to get a meal.

He came to the mobile outreach bus looking to get help.

"I'd like to see all of the vets off the street, get help, get there life turned around," said Triplett.  "Everybody, just not vets, everybody."

The event's focus is on homeless veterans but organizers are reaching out to anyone who needs a home. 

As of 4:30 p.m., officials say 18 homeless veterans and 15 non-homeless veterans learned of housing options and other programs that are available to them.

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