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Advocates Helping Homeless Veterans in Rural Areas

Advocates Helping Homeless Veterans in Rural Areas
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Advocates are working to help homeless Veterans in rural areas of Mississippi. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

Organizations in Mississippi are supporting homeless Veterans living in rural areas who might not have access to resources such as housing, public transportation, and employment. Hannah Maharrey is director of the Mississippi Balance of State Continuum of Care. It's an anti-homelessness agency funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She says the organization's goal is to provide stability for Veterans who need it.

"We know that the best way to build stability is to build a community," said Maharrey. "So we are going to house our Veterans within the community whether it be an apartment, whether it be a house, whatever their needs are. So if we know they don't have transportation we are going to try and find them housing that's centrally located where transportation won't be a problem."

A homeless Veteran is one of the worst things that anyone wants to see or deal with says Kelvin Hardy. He served in the Army for 24 years and now works as a Veteran outreach coordinator in Hattiesburg.

"It's very sad to see when someone's given their time, their effort, their body to something in most cases that they don't really have a say so on in reference to how they're giving their time, their money, their body for a period," said Hardy. "And then after that they don't have the ability to take care of themself in the way that they could while they were caring for and safeguarding everyone else."

As of January 2018, there were 102 homeless Veterans in Mississippi according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.