Local organizations working to end homelessness among veterans in Green Country
TULSA, Okla. - More than 340 veterans have been housed since January 2015. The efforts are part of Tulsa's 'Zero: 2016' campaign, where local organizations work to help end homelessness among veterans in Green Country.
A national study states Tulsa has been a leading city in ending chronic homelessness among veterans. Though the campaign is steadily improving the rate of veterans getting homes, group directors said there is still a long way to go.
On Wednesday, four veterans walked in Coffee Bunker looking for help finding a home. One of them is Craig Burton.
"Since last November I've been staying in a garage," said Burton.
The former marine said he has had a troubled past with drugs and alcohol, but now that he is sober he said finding a job and a home is more manageable.
"Now I sit back and I look at it and all the time I wasted I could have been helping others, like some of the guys that come in here," said Burton.
Local organizations said they have seen an improvement in getting veterans a place of their own through the Zero:2016 campaign.
"Veterans are really kind of, to some degree, selling these different programs to other veterans that these are programs that you can trust that are actually going to make a difference," said John Dessauer of the BRRX4Vets organization.
Scott Blackburn at Coffee Bunker said more efforts are needed to achieve that goal by the end of the year.
"Help us to provide a wider range of housing for these guys, otherwise, we're going to end up like some of the big cities where we have of one population in one concentrated area and it will become a problem," said Blackburn.
For every $25 dollar per paycheck, The Tulsa Area United Way states donors can help 50 veterans and their families get some assistance.
It's the kind of support Burton said will help turn his life around.
"With everything I'm trying to do with me it's going to work out, I just got a feeling in my heart and know it's going to work out," said Burton.
There is an online survey about homelessness in Tulsa, provided by Community Service Council.