Fayetteville homeless outreach sees uptick in veteran evictions

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville organization that supports homeless veterans is seeing an uptick in people being evicted from their homes, due to the inability to pay rent.

The non-profit known as Veterans Empowering Veterans (VEV) has been an established resource in the Sandhills region since 2010.

Renee Elder, the current Chief Executive Officer of the organization, says they've had a busy summer.

"This summer, we've seen about a 10 percent increase in homeless veterans coming out of the woodworks," Elder said. She says these men and women have come from far and near, seeking help, food and shelter.

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In recent years, VEV has accumulated five homes: four of them set up for permanent housing, while the other is a temporary location to reside in. Right now, all five housing options are occupied: the permanent homes taken up by mothers and families and the other being used by two veterans.

The VEV currently has nine other veterans on a waitlist, referring many to other local organizations that can provide housing options.

"They've been evicted from other places, cause they lost their jobs, cause they couldn't pay the rent," Elder added.

In addition to housing, the VEV offers back-to-work programs that will train and assist struggling, low-income veterans with future jobs.

However, with the ongoing pandemic, jobs have become more difficult to come by. This is why Elder and her organization continue to provide clothing, meals, and temporary shelter from the sun.

"We try to accommodate as many of them as possible, try to work with them to find employment," Elder said.

Elder tells ABC11 that they are looking to apply for some federal grants in order to build or purchase new homes, expanding their housing options for those in the community, especially since they know this problem will only surge as the pandemic continues.

If you would like to make a monetary donation or give the VEV clothing for those in need, you can go to their donation section on their website.
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