Outrage Over Housing Illegal Immigrants And Not Homeless Vets - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Outrage Over Housing Illegal Immigrants And Not Homeless Vets

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(KCEN) -- While tens of thousands of children who are in the United States illegally are tucked in at night on the government's dime, many who fought for their country are out on the streets.

Now anger over the way America’s tight budget is being spent is welling up across the nation.

The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 40 percent of America’s homeless men are veterans.

Air Force Veteran Bob Stone is one of a growing number of people nationwide who are calling for change in the way the border crisis is handled.

“Even though they're children, they're not our responsibility. We have enough to take care of without taking care of foreign children. I think we out to just send them back where they came from. Their parents, their country ought to be taking care of them,” says Stone.

Army Veteran Tommy Snyder says the outrage is understandable but that caring for helpless children is too.

“I think the border security is first. The humanitarian side is a part of it also,” Snyder says.



While federal dollars are poured into that humanitarian disaster, the city that surrounds Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the Free World, has a humanitarian disaster of its own.

It hasn’t had the means to open a homeless shelter since 2009.

Families in Crisis in Killeen, which remains neutral on the border issue, is getting closer to building a shelter sometime in early 2015.

Director of Programs Suzanne Armour says, “Obviously, there's a tremendous need for a shelter in this area."

Until that facility is completed, there are other resources for struggling veterans.

“What we can do is provide housing assistance and supportive services for eligible veterans and their families, to kind of help them get back on their feet,” Armour says.

Families in Crisis has helped about 500 homeless or near-homeless veterans and their families since October.

To qualify for that assistance, veterans must meet income requirements and must have received a discharge other than dishonorably.

The rest of the area’s homeless veterans and civilians must wait on the completion of the organization’s new shelter.

It is taking years to come up with the means to house the homeless in the tight-knit military community.

Meanwhile, it took only days to house children who were brought to the U.S. illegally.

Now the pressure is on to secure America’s vulnerable border, as it’s flooded daily by foreign children who now need a place to go.
“Don't even let them in,” says Stone.

The Families In Crisis program for struggling veterans is funded through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which also provides help at the link below.

https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/anonymous.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfto=false&_pageLabel=spotlightArchive&contentPage=spotlight/January%202012/spotlight_jan2012_homeless.html

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

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