TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Local public systems, which include, emergency rooms, jails, and shelters, spend more than $80 million a year to manage the homeless population. A new multi-million dollar initiative, in Terre Haute, aims to lower that staggering number.
Making a quick lunch on a relaxing afternoon, it’s the simple things that mean the most to Dennis Coleman. “It’s awesome. This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long, long time.”
As a former member of the National Guard, who fell on hard times, Coleman no longer takes having a place to call home for granted. “I would probably still be living underneath a bridge, abandoned houses, and everything else,” he said.
Liberty Village is providing, much need, relief. The complex, located on Elm Street, features thirty apartment style units, which are intended for homeless veterans and their families.
“They have to be homeless. They can’t be couch surfing, a place not meant for human habitation. They have to meet income requirements and be disabled,” explained Myra Wilkey, Executive Director, Mental Health America of Vigo County.
Those applying don’t need to have a source of income. Spaces are filling up fast. “It’s rewarding to see where someone is when they move in, and then look at them 3 months later, because you’re looking at a completely different person,” said Wilkey.
It’s a welcomed change for Coleman, who is now encouraging fellow homeless veterans to reach out for help, it’s what brought him home. “Don’t be ashamed. This place is awesome. I mean, you can’t beat it,” he said.
If you, or someone you know, is a struggling veteran there are resources available. You can call Mental Health America at (812) 232-5681.