Local vets helping vets

COLUMBUS, Ga.- More than 700,000 veterans live in the state of Georgia and a study shows that more than 70,000 of them are homeless.

Hai Clay is a Veteran and a Volunteer for The Mission Continues and he says his passion is helping others.

“Just because your job is over in the military doesn’t mean it has ended. By coming back to the community and serving we want to let the next generation see that it’s not over with,” said Clay.

Lakesha Stringer is a veteran helping veterans.

Stringer said, “You have to be a veteran to tend to a veteran kind of thing. We understand each other’s jargon and our language because we have seen the same struggles.”

Mitzi Oxford works for Valley Rescue Mission and her organization is expanding to meet the growing need of homeless vets in the valley.

“There’s about 54 beds in each place, but there are only about 300 shelter beds in all of Muscogee County. When you do the math you see that some of those people are not going to have a place to sleep,” said Oxford.

Oxford believes vets are coming here because of Fort Benning and our strong military presence.

“They’ve probably spent some time at Fort Benning serving there, training there and they end up liking the area and choose to move back here.”

Meanwhile Clay is encouraging everyone in the community to join the fight against homelessness.

“I know there’s more of me out there and there’s plenty of us who want to do the same thing that I’m doing right now,” said Clay.

For those interested in helping, there is an information meeting November 7th at 11:30 at Damascus Way in Columbus.

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