Event Reaches Out To Homeless Tulsa Vets


Saturday, September 16th 2017, 8:07 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


Hundreds of homeless veterans in Tulsa have new clothes, shoes, and access to information about an upcoming job fair.

It's all thanks to the annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event.  

Help from the Stand Down event couldn't have come at a better time for Navy Veteran Kenny Gaynor.

He said he's been homeless for about a week. 

"It just shows you how life can change just like that" Gaynor said.

Nearly 300 homeless vets lined up at First United Methodist to have some basic needs met and a little TLC. 

Marine Veteran Lee Roach said, "They had a nice breakfast this morning. Gave me plenty of energy."

Melanie Stewart-Goldman with the Eastern Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Office said the event is "Letting them know that they do matter. And that we do care"

Volunteers are filling up personalized bags full of fleece sweaters, jeans, and shoes. Whatever the person needs for each and every veteran coming through the line

"They let us know sizes, and we have personal shoppers for them," Stewart-Goldman said.

She said this is also about long-term solutions.

They now have information about housing and an upcoming job fair, where more than 40 employers will be looking to hire. 

"They came here today, they learned about that, and their plan is to follow up," Stewart-Goldman said.

Kenny Gaynor said he is "Looking for [the] next chapter in life"

"I know it's the weekend but when Monday comes around I've got a lot of resources I can try, and people I can talk to and call," Gaynor said.

Until then, the men and women who served our country are heading back to the streets with some new clothes and a new perspective. 
 
Lee Roach said, "It just kinda makes you feel good."