GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- An article that came out on Wednesday, December 27 in USA Today states that the number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who are homeless, or are at risk of becoming homeless, has more than doubled in the past two years. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, there were 26, 531 veterans living on the streets, or about to lose their homes. The issue of homeless veterans is particularly jarring as there are 307,000 troops that will come home within the next four years. In 2009, President Obama vowed to end homelessness by 2015, and right here in Grand Rapids, we are doing what we can to help with this mission.
Exodus Place, located downtown on the Grand River has used their resources to recently welcome 38 homeless veterans into the facility. Here, these veterans will have affordable housing, employment assistance with the help of Goodwill, inexpensive meals, counseling, mentoring and much more. Exodus Place strives to help these men get back on their feet and get their lives back on track. Exodus Place, which opened in 2009, now has almost 100 residents, many of whom have been able to stay sober, reconnect with family, and get a job. Exodus believes in “A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out” and offers men the tools they need to get their momentum back in life.
The facility currently has room for more veterans but is limited on funding. The organization is run mostly on donations and has not received the usual contribution amounts from donors and the community. Exodus Place has faith in the President’s mission to end homelessness and is honored to be a part of it, but needs more financial support to be able to provide more military veterans with the proper necessities and resources to start living their lives.
Exodus Place, as well as every other American, are always grateful to our troops and want to do what they can to give back.