KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash.- Veterans risked their lives for our country, but far too many who get discharged out of the military end up on the streets homeless, many not knowing when their next meal will be.
A non-profit organization in Kittitas County called HopeSource looked at different veteran services in Eastern Washington, and CEO of Hopesource Susan Grindle noticed the problem was much worse than they thought.
"There were probably in excess of 7,000 veterans in those counties that were homeless or on the verge of being homeless, and we said, that's not right," said Grindle.
They say solving this problem isn’t easy, and there’s no magic bullet. What they say it took was the whole community working together and money.
HopeSource got an $800,000 grant earlier this year dedicated for finding homes and help for veterans in need.
"Any veteran who is ready to come in and be stabilized, not all of them are, but the ones that are, everything is ready for them. Every veteran deserves to be stabilized and put on a path to where they can succeed," said Grindle.
But the money on its own wouldn’t be enough. The housing crisis in Kittitas County makes it a struggle for anyone to find a place to live.
Grindle said they had to get creative and got help from many local landlords and even hotel owners who stepped up to help those who’ve fought and bled for our country.
"No one is surprised that there is no housing, that's a big issue everywhere. However, we have been very creative in hotels and motels helping us house veterans. We have been able to find by negotiating with landlords a place for every veteran who needed a place to stay," said Grindle.
They announced Thursday they reached functional zero, when it comes to homeless veterans.
They said that means they've gotten the number so low that any homeless veteran they find, they can get a home within about a month.