Assistance for homeless vets

By WEEK Producer

October 23, 2010 Updated Oct 23, 2010 at 6:19 PM CDT

Goodwill Industries of central Illinois is reaching out to homeless veterans.

Goodwill and 20 other local service agencies held their second annual Stand Down for homeless veterans Saturday at Peoria's O'Brien Field.

The event is designed to provide things like medical assistance, clothing and guidance in a number of areas to get these men back on their feet.

Charles Miner is a former homeless vet who received similar help.

"Its teaches you a lot about life skills," said Miner.

"It gives veterans a lot of hope, some that don't have any, and it also becomes a family to them. They help navigate you through the different agencies here in the Peoria area."

Goodwill Veterans Services Coordinator Vicki Hightower says much of the assistance is simply basic necessities.

"We're able to give them new winter coats, some long underwear, socks, t-shirts, all the essentials, some hygiene care packs, things like that. We also have businesses here giving free hair cuts and there are shower facilities."

Hightower says the goal is to provide assistance for as many as 100 homeless veterans.

A $200,000 grant from the Department of Labor helps to fund the event.