MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - A state agency is stepping in to help the Macon community get homeless veterans off the streets and into homes. The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center out of Dublin is working to curb this nationwide problem here in our community.
"I felt like I had to depend on other people. I lived in parks, I lived in camp grounds, RV parks, I lived in my car," homeless veteran Amy Bailey said.
But Bailey's life changed the moment she decided to get help.
"Through the VA, they have helped me, not only get a place to stay but also to help me realize my strength and my goals," Bailey said.
The Car Vinson VA Medical Center hosted a Veteran Homelessness Summit on Tuesday to raise awareness of this nationwide problem. More than 62,000 vets live on the streets across the country. Summit leaders say it takes the entire community to fight veteran homelessness.
"Its a community problem as a whole in regards to ending homelessness and we need to come together and pull our resources together to see how we can effectively strategize how to end homelessness amongst veterans," Keiya Myles with the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center said.
Gary Lester is a veterans advocate who provides affordable housing for homeless vets. Over the last three years, he's helped more than 150 veterans find homes at the River View Residential Complex in Macon. He hopes to get help from other organizations throughout the community to bring services to the men and woman who served our country.
"We can't do it alone, but if all these groups get together, we can help a lot of people," Lester said.
"Its the philosophy that no one group or no one person can end homelessness alone," Myles said. "It takes the community as a whole to end homelessness, so we need everyone to get on board."
And give these American heroes the warm welcome home they deserve.
Nationwide, veteran homelessness is slowly decreasing. The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center hopes to end veteran homelessness across the country by 2015.