A veterans group in Illinois is currently working to provide shelter and other services to homeless and at-risk veterans.
According to the Northwest Herald, the McHenry County Veterans Stand Down is joining forces with other organizations, including the Veterans Assistance Commission and the McHenry County Housing Authority, to provide housing assistance to county veterans currently living without permanent shelter. About 23 percent of the area's homeless population were veterans in 2013, compared to 46 percent in 2012. However, the news source reported that the sharp decrease could have been due to an area housing program that did not respond to the survey.
Stand Down recently held an event with the goal of attracting homeless and at-risk veterans to its available resources. According to the news outlet, Stand Down and the other participating organizations were pleased with the large turnout and hoped it was a sign that veterans will begin using more assistance.
"A lot of these organizations, people might not necessarily know about," Robin Doeden, executive director of the McHenry County Community Foundation, told the news source.
Veterans homelessness has become a top priority for both local and federal government agencies. A recent report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that there were more than 57,000 veterans living without permanent shelter in the U.S. in January 2013.