Community Matters: Veterans Helping Veterans

Published 06/25 2014 07:54PM

Updated 06/25 2014 11:27PM

KNWA/KARK -- Arkansas veterans struggling to find stable housing now have a new ally in the community.

John Kendall has waited for this help for nearly two years. "I'm sitting back waiting on a miracle," said Kendall. "I was lost. I was totally lost and so were lots of other veterans." Kendall was one of 45 veterans forced to vacate the Little Rock Veterans Home which had to close due to disrepair.

Since then he says he's bounced around from apartments to the streets and from addiction to the edge. "I attempted suicide with an overdose, I'd given up hope and given up on myself," says Kendall.

Retired Lt. Colonel Mike Ross and volunteers in the newly formed "Veterans Villages of America" are trying to replace the sense of community Kendall and his comrades relied on.

"They hit a point where they hit rock bottom and don't see a way out, it's our job as veterans to take care of other veterans and make sure they don't get to that point," says Ross.

By helping them find housing in the same North Little Rock neighborhoods - by moving them closer to a health clinic, a technical college, and one another - the veterans will be able to move on with life and will gain strength from their support system.

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