A pilot program in Arizona is helping homeless veterans find gainful employment by placing them in positions with the Arizona State Parks system, local news outlet KJZZ reported. The new government initiative has already hired five veterans as Arizona park rangers, including Joel Macejak, an Air Force and Army veteran. 

"I thought it was a golden opportunity, not something you come across very often because most state and federal park service jobs are snatched-up as quickly as they're available," Macejak told the news source. 

Macejak found out about the program, which launched in November, while staying at a local shelter, the news source reported. Although the program was the brainchild of Bryan Martyn, who serves as the executive director of the Arizona State Parks, the local Veterans Administration office provided some assistance.

According to a recently released report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were more than 57,000 veterans living without permanent shelter in the U.S. in January 2013. The report found that Arizona had an increase in its homeless veteran population in the last four years. Currently, the state has about 390 veterans who are living without shelter.