Resource fair helping homeless vets - Tucson News Now

Resource fair helping homeless vets

Vets fed at today's event. (Source: Tucson News Now) Vets fed at today's event. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

About 300 homeless veterans took advantage of a resource fair sponsored by Tucson Veterans Helping Veterans, an organization made up of federal, state and local service groups.

The fair was held at the Desert Inn near Congress and I-10.

It included dozens of vendors, social service agencies, mental health organizations and even lawyers providing free legal help.

The Gospel Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army also provided food, clothing, and other resources, along with free haircuts and lunch.

But the talk at the fair was the housing first program, which was started by the city of Tucson, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Veteran's Administration.

Tucson was one of the 25 cities chosen for the program to end homelessness among vets by 2015. It failed to achieve that goal, but has provided free or subsidized housing to an estimated 2,000 veterans.

58-year-old Scott Powers is one of those.

A vet who served in Central and South America during the 1970s, he found himself homeless when his wife died and he was involved in an accident.

He has since stumbled on the Tucson homeless coalition's attempt to provide housing. Having a place to live has changed his outlook on life.

"It's great being able to have clean clothes, a shower, a home where I can regroup, a base of operations, cook my own food, have independence," he said.

He now volunteers to help convince others of the value of getting a place to live.

"Not everyone wants to get off the streets," he said.

Some of that he believes is due to PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, suffered by many former combat vets.

"You don't trust anybody or anything," he said. "It becomes an ingrained first response."

But by volunteering, Powers hopes to gain the trust of others, who can then get help not only with homelessness, but also mental health counseling. 

The next resource fair for homeless vets will be in February and is billed as a job fair.

Now that more and more of these vets are getting off the streets, getting cleaned up and getting counseling, it's time for some of them to get a job.

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Sound The Alarm event

    Sound The Alarm event

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:57 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:57:53 GMT
    Red cross crews install smoke alarm at an earlier event. (Source: Red Cross of Southern Arizona)Red cross crews install smoke alarm at an earlier event. (Source: Red Cross of Southern Arizona)

    The American Red Cross of Southern Arizona is striving to reduce this ongoing problem by hosting an event called Sound The Alarm. 

    The American Red Cross of Southern Arizona is striving to reduce this ongoing problem by hosting an event called Sound The Alarm. 

  • Hotspots in Tucson for "hands free" ordinance violations

    Hotspots in Tucson for "hands free" ordinance violations

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:33 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:33:02 GMT

    Two hot spots for ticketing distracted drivers in the county are Cardinal and Valencia and Ajo and Palo Verde. 

    Two hot spots for ticketing distracted drivers in the county are Cardinal and Valencia and Ajo and Palo Verde. 

  • Shooting reported on Campbell near Sunnyside High School

    Shooting reported on Campbell near Sunnyside High School

    Friday, September 22 2017 12:09 AM EDT2017-09-22 04:09:52 GMT

    One person was shot in the face at an apartment complex in the 6200 block of South Campbell Avenue, according to Sgt. Pete Dugan spokesman with the Tucson Police Department.  

    One person was shot in the face at an apartment complex in the 6200 block of South Campbell Avenue, according to Sgt. Pete Dugan spokesman with the Tucson Police Department.  

Powered by Frankly