The number of veterans checking into one Jacksonville homeless shelter is increasing.
"I wish I knew what caused this increase because then we could try to rectify it," said Karin Hudson, Director of Onslow Community Outreach.
Hudson said that over the past five years, the shelter has seen a 333% increase in the number of homeless veterans. The number this year has already surpassed years past. In 2011, Hudson said 52 veterans checked into the shelter. As of October 31, 53 veterans had already checked into Onslow Community Outreach.
The shelter, which is located at 600 Court Street in downtown Jacksonville, provides all the basic needs to ensure that each homeless resident can work towards their own independence.
"Every person who walks in the door, veteran or not, has a different story," said Hudson. Hudson has seen men and women of all ages in need of help.
"Many people think veteran and they think older men," said Hudson. "That's not the case, last December, a veteran checked in with us, he'd been out of the Marine Corps for 8 days."
Hudson said there are many organizations in the community ready to help vets. Some do take advantage of the available programs and get the help they need. "They pop their head in my office, and they'll say guess what, and they have wonderful news to share," said Hudson.
Hudson said that's news that the community loves to hear.
Click here more information on the shelter: http://onslowco.org/Homeless_Shelter.php