OWOSSO (WJRT) - (05/27/15) - There is a new organization to help the homeless veterans in Mid-Michigan. The Shiawassee County group hopes to create a place where those who have served their country can get back on their feet.
Welcome Home Veterans believes there are hundreds of vets who don't have a permanent place to live. That makes it hard to hold down a job or keep a family together.
"There is such a great need for veterans that are considered homeless, not necessarily on the street, but they bounce from one relative to the next and one friend to the next," said Bill Fromholz, a Welcome Home Veterans board member.
There are an estimated 5,600 service veterans in Shiawassee County.
Hundreds of them are struggling with PTSD, unemployment and in some cases, homelessness.
"We're looking to transition them, get them their immediate needs met, get shelter," said Kimberly Bowen, the Welcome Home Veterans president.
Currently, there is no housing in Shiawassee County for veterans who are struggling economically. Welcome Home Veterans has started a capital campaign to create a place for them to stay.
"We're looking at existing buildings that are abandoned or bank-owned buildings right now," Bowen said.
"Whether it's a homeless veteran or a homeless civilian, they have to have a safe place to start their day," said Mike Judd, a Navy veteran.
The housing could be open in early 2016.
Bowen feels veterans deserve a hand up.
"I love to help people, and this is a population that needs an incredible amount of help," Bowen said.
Welcome Home Veterans has two big fundraisers planned for June and July in the Owosso area.