User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


43° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Veterans Helping Through Life Experiences

September 21, 2012, 7:17 AM by Kellee Azar

Veterans Helping Through Life Experiences
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The number of homeless veterans has been on the rise over the years. Just last year, Veterans Affairs reported more than 300 in Minnehaha County alone. But now a new grant will go towards getting those veterans off the streets.

The Volunteers of America will receive more than $1 million to help get homeless vets into permanent residences. For some of those who work at the VOA, it's an effort that hits extremely close to home.

For Allen Pratt, coming home from war is much different now than it was in the days of Vietnam.

"So I had a lot of guilt and shame.  When I came back some little hippie girl gave me a flower and she tripped me and then everybody spit on me and I just thought, 'welcome back,'" Pratt said.

Not knowing how to handle the response to his return home and the loss he experienced, Pratt began living on the streets.

"I just became a hippie hitchhiking around southern California.  I'm a San Diego boy so I slept under the bridges of LA at out of dumpsters behind Jack In The Box," Pratt said.

But thanks to the Volunteers of America and the VA, Pratt's life is headed down a different, better path. And now with a new grant for the VOA, Pratt is getting to help homeless veterans.

"This new grant that we have been given, it's going to be quite a blessing to go beyond just the veteran but go with the veteran’s families and help provide housing and get them going again," Pratt said.

VOA leaders are excited because this will allow them to do something they've never done before.

"What we will be doing is leasing apartments and then putting veterans in those apartments and providing intense case management to those veterans," Veteran Services Coordinator for VOA Dakotas Chris Nelson said.

This grant is now filling a need many at the VOA see first-hand on a daily basis.

"Right now we have a waiting list to get in here and that just shows there is a big need in the community," Nelson said. 

And for Pratt, everything is coming full circle for him.

"And I was pardoned by President Obama last year, presidential pardon. So I just feel like this is a whole new lease on life to be able to start helping veterans to help themselves," Pratt said.

The VOA will work with the veterans for six to 12 months. In that time, the organization hopes to have the vets take over a lease and live independently.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Parker Teen Dies In One Vehicle Crash

4/12/2014 10:18 AM

16-year-old Tonya Anderson from Parker, SD died in a one vehicle crash west of Sioux Falls on Highway 42 on Friday.

Full Story
SF Woman Dies In Crash Near Brookings

4/12/2014 10:34 AM

A Sioux Falls woman died in a two vehicle crash on I-29 south of Brookings.

Full Story
Missing Girls Case Update On Tuesday

4/15/2014 7:15 AM

Authorities plan to release an update on the investigation into the 1971 disappearance of two South Dakota girls.

Full Story
Remains Found In Car Are Missing Girls

4/15/2014 1:39 PM

After more than 40 years, the families of two missing teenage girls now know what happened to them.

Full Story
Strange Haze Covers Sioux Falls

4/12/2014 5:03 PM

A strange haze with a foul odor hung over the City of Sioux Falls today.

Full Story


Events

 
 
KELOLAND TV: 501 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605.336.1100 · Breaking News call: 1-800-888-5356
Web Site Design and Custom Programming By: Lawrence & Schiller© 2014 KELO-TV -- KELOLAND.COM -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED