NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — An increasing number of veterans are facing problems with homelessness, evictions and foreclosures from the pandemic.
Army veteran Bobby Cline says the non-profit Code of Vets saved him from living on the streets, but he says not everyone is as lucky.
Cline served in the U.S. army from 1999 until 2006.
“I learned quite a lot about life, a lot about myself,” Cline emphasized.
Cline says it’s still been very difficult adjusting to civilian life.
He's a single father who decided to move away from his partner who had a drug addiction, but he says with the difficult job and housing markets, he was running into financial trouble that almost left him on the streets.
“I was getting ready to have to make huge decisions to either go back to where I came from in Florida to be around a support system for my son’s sake or be homeless, so it meant the world to us,” Cline emphasized.
Cline says he went to Code of Vets for help and they were able to send him money in less than 24 hours.
Founder of Code of Vets, Gretchen Smith, says the government and more organizations need to learn how to operate in real time.
“When a veteran is going homeless, why not try to keep him in his apartment and instead of telling him to go homeless and then we’ll try to assist you,” Smith explained.
FOX 17 News reached out to the state and federal governments to see what they're doing to better assist veterans with housing and funding, but we have not heard back yet.
Smith says veterans like Cline cannot wait up to 90 days to get money.
“The availability of housing is slim to none and this place was the only place around. I guarantee you it wouldn’t have lasted if we didn’t make a move on it right away,” Cline emphasized.
Fortunately for Cline, he says he went to the right organization.
“It meant everything,” Cline emphasized.
Smith says their organization is the only one she knows of that operates in real time.
She explains the funds they receive from donors go into a PayPal account and that money is instantly given to veterans who need it.
She hopes more organizations will operate like this.
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