Veterans group opens ‘closet’ to aid Indiana city’s homeless
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — There is a need, a great need one local veteran’s organization says, to help properly clothe and care for Vigo County’s homeless population.
But more than form a committee that meets monthly to talk about the problem ad nauseam without offering a tangible solution, Mike Egy and the members of Loyal Veterans Battalion have decided to do something about the issue.
Their solution? The Loyal Veterans Battalion Clothing Closet at 1000 S. 14th St.
The group hosted an open house at the closet recently, welcoming all who wanted to learn more about the organization and how it intends to reach the community’s most vulnerable.
With rooms full of men’s and women’s shirts, pants, coats, hats, blankets and more, Egy said the battalion plans to tackle the problem directly by going out to and hosting the homeless in Vigo County.
“That’s our vision, and it’s been our vision since we established ourselves,” Egy said. “We believe we can improve our lives by helping others, and we’ve been able to stay on mission the entire time so far.”
“And I’m really pleased with that and I anticipate becoming a resource center for not only the other organizations in town but for those most in need. Because a lot of times, we’ve found they’ve got nowhere else to go.”
Tom Floyd said he can attest to the Battalion being more than just talk.
After going through his own bouts with homelessness, most recently living in Gilbert Park for more than two months earlier this summer, he said it was Egy who has helped him time and again when he was at his lowest.
“I met Mike when they were doing one of their outreach efforts and we sat down and prayed about my situation and look what God did for me,” Floyd said as he gushed over the home he and his fiance just moved into.
Floyd walked away from the open house with two large bags of winter clothes, a godsend he says will make his walk to and from work more bearable over the winter months.
“With the rainy days we’ve had recently and the cold that’s coming, this is all I’ve got,” Floyd said as he tugged on a thin camouflage jacket. “This stuff is definitely going to help.”
Floyd said he anticipates The Clothing Closet becoming a premier resource for the homeless in the community.
“You know, there are other places in the community that do good work, but these people here, they take real good care of people and are better than what a lot of the other places around often are,” Floyd said.
The Closet will be open twice monthly to the homeless in the community to provide adequate clothing, sleeping bags and tents, as available. Egy said the group intends to promote when the closet will be open by posting flyers and handing out leaflets at the area shelters and kitchens.
And while operating hours are limited initially, Egy said anyone in need can call any of the three numbers on the Closet sign and a Battalion member will be there within an hour to assist however they can.
“We are a direct action group and we take that very serious,” Egy said. “So with a phone call, we will get here and we will run them through the closet and get them outfitted with what they need.”
Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com