4th house for homeless veterans opens in East Texas

ATHENS (KYTX) - East Texas veterans living on the streets are getting a new place to call home.

It just opened Monday and will eventually house 16 people. Five live there so far.

CBS 19's Anthony Austin shows us how the new veterans home between Athens and Canton is pointing veterans in a new direction.

"In Tyler, We've got New Beginnings, we got Fresh Start and New Horizons," said J.D. Collett, Andrews Center Peer Specialist.

This new home is called "New Directions" and that name carries a lot of meaning.

"We wanted to depict a new start for our nation's heroes coming off the streets," said Collett.

This 6,000 square foot, two story house will be a place for veterans struggling with issues after coming home from the war.

 "They come back and the world is not like it was when they left," said Collett.

J.D. Collett is a peer specialist for Andrews Center in Tyler. He helps veterans dealing with mental issues such as Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, better known as PTSD.

He said the home will be a place for veterans going through similar problems realize they're not alone.

"I was the first one here he helped out," said Wayne Goodman.

Wayne Goodman is now the house manager of "New Directions." The Vietnam veteran suffers from PTSD.

Now, he's turning his life around and helping others.

"I know what I went through and I know what the other vets went through," said Goodman.

Volunteers help the men make resumes and teach them interview skills, so they can get a job.

"Having a vehicle, having a job, having an income,driver's license, bank accounts...restarting their life," said Greg Wind, volunteer.

They offer support groups for them and their families.

"You can see that sparkle back in their eyes and they get up and want to actually do something," said Collett.

For more information on the homeless veterans program:

J.D. Collett - 903-216-2381

Andrews Center - 903-597-1351



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